Nursing Review Issue 2 March-April 2022 - Page 4


Willing and able

Call to give mental health nurses bigger role .

The Australian College of Mental Health Nurses ( ACMHN ) has urged the Federal Government to consider greater access to MBS items for Credentialed Mental Health Nurses ( CMHNs ) as a means of dealing with high demand for mental health services .

This comes in response to a call from the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners ( RACGP ) for a Medicare restructure and extra mental health training for general practitioners .
RACGP president Dr Karen Price said : “ The reality is that general practice is the most accessible service for many people who require mental health care .
“ In some areas outside of major cities , GPs are the only option .”
ACMHN interim president Professor John Hurley responded by saying that while the college acknowledged people facing mental health issues needed all the assistance they could get , GPs shouldn ’ t be “ the first and only group of health clinicians to consider when planning to tackle Australia ’ s growing mental health crisis ”.
“ If GPs were better trained at treating mental health issues and worked closely with CHMNs , they could make a real difference for those who are currently missing out on adequate treatment ,” Hurley said .
“ CMHNs are highly-skilled mental health clinicians who ’ ve undergone a meticulous assessment by the ACMHN . Instead of relying on a workforce that still needs mental health training , the government would be well advised to consider the readily-available CMHN workforce first .”
Hurley added that CMHNs can only provide limited services under current Medicare arrangements .
“ That ’ s despite the fact that they have qualifications that are equal to those of other mental health clinicians .”
With one third of psychologists closing their books to new patients , Hurley said not giving CMHNs more access to MBS items was “ simply illogical ”. ■
The maternity ward in Zhytomyr Hospital . Photo Fadel Senna / AFP

Nurses stand with Ukraine

World ’ s nurses urge end to Ukraine conflict .

The world ’ s largest nursing federation has expressed solidarity with the nurses and health workers trapped in Russia ’ s ongoing invasion of Ukraine .

The International College of Nurses ( ICN ) released a statement urging for an end to the conflict .
“ The protection and safety of our nurses and health systems are paramount and enshrined in international law ,” said ICN President Pamela Cipriano .
“ Access to healthcare and the delivery of humanitarian assistance must remain a priority as we see cities under attack and tens of thousands of people being displaced .
“ We call on all parties involved in the conflict and the international community to do everything in their power to protect the safety of our nurses .”
According to the WHO , trucks have been unable to transport oxygen from plants to hospitals across the country , placing thousands of lives at risk .
“ The oxygen supply situation is nearing a very dangerous point in Ukraine ,” said WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus and Europe Regional Director Hans Kluge in a joint statement .
“ Critical hospital services are also being jeopardised by electricity and power shortages , and ambulances transporting patients are in danger of getting caught in the crossfire .”
President of the Russian Nurses Association , Valentina Sarkisova , said Russian nurses were “ extremely concerned ” for their neighbouring colleagues .
“ Politics is far from nursing , and armed conflicts are opposite to the main designation of our profession ,” she said .
“ Together with the whole world , we hope for a rapid resolution of all conflicts and a return to a normal and peaceful life .” ■
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