Following the global financial crisis (GFC), it was expected that countries would tighten their purse strings, including within the welfare state, but is this austerity making patients sicker?
Researchers, led by emeritus professor Eileen Willis from Flinders University, unpacked this question in a paper, published in the Journal of Advanced Nursing, by exploring the link between austerity and missed nursing care.
The authors said as nations continue to cut health budgets, nursing services are seen as a major target and burden, rather than a resource.
“There is a real danger that healthcare professionals, particularly nurses, will be blamed for any sentinel or adverse events that might occur as a result of missed care,” the paper read. “What may not be admitted is that understaffing, casualisation, long hours of work and over-time, along with unrealistic targets cannot be sustained over the long term and should only be seen as temporary measures where governments wish to provide quality health care.”
To evaluate the impact of budget cuts on missed care, the research team drew from its own data from a survey of over 7,000 registered nurses and midwives.
Nursing Review spoke with Willis about the findings of that research and how they're linked to a culture of austerity arising from the GFC.Want to share your thoughts on this topic? Do you have an idea for a story?
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