Friday, September 14, 2007

Howard's Nursing Agenda

Today Prime Minister John Howard released his plan for nnursing education. Pointedly, he made the announcement at a private hospital (St George Private Hospital, in Sydney), rather than at a public hospital.

In his press release, he also pointedly talks about "I" - no mention of the new "team" in the whole press release - and says:

"What we are going to do is to provide $170 million over a period of five years to create 25 Australian Hospital Nursing Schools and essentially what that means is that the Federal Government will fund individual hospitals, either public or private, we'll adopt the same approach irrespective of whether it is a public or a private hospital; for them to provide training facilities within the hospitals themselves for people training to become enrolled nurses. "

Here we need to draw parallels with the Australian Technical Schools - remember those - most of which have been unable to find apprenticeships for their students, and most of which have to sub-contract the training to TAFE, because they don't have RTO status.

It also says that the Federal Government "will fund individual hospitals." Let's draw further parallels with universities, which this year had the option of no increase in funding, or an increase in funding if they offered only Workchoices. Yes, it's political blackmail, and yes the university Vice-Chancellor's had Hobson's Choice: Workchoices or nothing.

From John Howard, this offer might look good, but the offer is really about 2 things:
  • Concentration of Political power for John Howard
  • The Federal Government using financial "leverage" to push more people onto Workchoices.