SA boosts rural safety
South Australia has passed new safety laws for nurses and other health professionals.
Health workers will no longer be permitted to work alone in remote areas, abolishing single nurse postings in rural areas and ensuring that all call outs will require a minimum of two medical personnel.
Companies can now be fined if they do allow employees to attend call outs by themselves.
The reforms are named after nurse Gayle Woodford, who was murdered while working in the remote community of Fregon in April 2016.
Ms Woodford was alone and on call when her killer, Dudley Davey, came to her door and lured her out of her home, bundled the nurse into the back of her own ambulance and drove her out to scrubland where she was murdered.
Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation SA chief executive Adj Assoc Prof Elizabeth Dabars says it should be expanded nationwide.
“While it is a very welcome move, we also believe that nurses across Australia deserve this protection. We really need the Federal Government to act on this issue, so that nurses across Australia also receive the same protections,” she said.
“Everyone should feel safe at work. Their work environment is extremely isolated, and although we believe the communities they serve are extremely grateful, we have to acknowledge unsavoury elements who are taking advantage of these circumstances.”