Bernardi starts national pushback for nurses

March 22, 2018

The Australian nursing and midwifery code of conduct has been slammed over ‘white privilege’ after Australian Conservatives leader Senator Cory Bernardi drew attention to the new code in January this year.

News Limited reports, last year nurses were asked to call women “persons”. Now the nurses are pushing back against a change that requires them to “acknowledge white privilege” before treating patients.

Nurses and midwives around the country must now adhere to a new code of conduct with a section specifically dedicated to “culture” and which details white Australians’ inherent privilege “in relation to Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islanders”.

The new code, which came into effect in March, has been labelled “eye-watering”, “cultural madness” and “unacceptable”. A peak body representing nurses in Queensland is even calling for the chairman of the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia to be sacked over it.

“This is eye-watering stuff,” Graeme Haycroft from the Nurses Professional Association of Queensland told Sky News host Peta Credlin.

“We’re calling for the resignation of the chairman of the board (Associate Professor Lynette Cusack) because she’s put her name to it and it’s unacceptable.”

Mr Haycroft said the code was hastily approved with little consultation.

Nurses and midwives fought the board in November last year when it was revealed a draft of the new code of conduct replaced references to “woman-centred care” with “person-centred care”.

To watch the Sky News interview with Graeme Haycroft, click here.

To hear Senator Bernardi's interview on the subject with 2GB's Ben Fordham, click the box below:

To sign our nurses' petition click here.

To join the Australian Conservatives, click here.

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