Mr PEDERICK (Hammond ) ( 12:29 ): I rise to support the motion:
That this house—
(a) recognises International Nurses Day celebrated annually on 12 May 2015;
(b) acknowledges this year's theme, Nurses: A Force for Change: Care Effective, Cost Effective ; and
(c) congratulates South Australian nurses for their dedication and professionalism and the pivotal role they play in the advancement of all South Australians' health.
With some members declaring their interest in nurses today, I can indicate that I have not had a personal interest—as far as a relationship goes—with a nurse for over 20 years because I have known my wife that long and she is not a nurse.
There has been some light made of whether someone had been in a nurses' home. In the early 1980s, I was doing on-farm training around Murray Bridge. We were going to train for a couple of days in Mount Gambier and we asked, 'Where are we staying?' 'Oh, you're going to stay in the nurses' quarters, but on a different floor.' I thought that was like putting the foxes in charge of the henhouse. Back then we had to be careful we got out on the right floor so that our studies were not diverted onto other things.
I would like to express appreciation for the work that nurses have always done, and the member for Finniss talked about the contribution of nurses on Lemnos Island and on the hospital ships during World War 1 off Gallipoli. Well before then, and over time, nurses have played and continue to play a great role in maintaining the health of this state and this country.
As you get older and as time goes on, you seem to run into more nurses, professionally. I was in Griffith Rehab at Hove having had surgery for an artificial left hip, and being a bit allergic to pain I hit the buzzer and the nurse came in and said, 'What would you like?' I said, 'I would like some more Endone please.' Of course, Endone is heavily regulated—it is morphine. She said, 'You've already had 95 milligrams today.' I said, 'Can I have some more?' She said, 'Yes'. I said, 'Well, okay, let's go.' As I said, it is heavily regulated, and for that very reason that it is morphine. When you have a tablet, there are two nurses: one recording and one watching you take it to make sure you are not storing it under your pillow (or something) for a later date. So that is a good thing. The professionalism there was just fantastic, as it has been in all the hospitals I have had to visit over my life.
I had reason to attend the Repat a few months ago for a couple of days and it was interesting talking to the nurses there. The government's aim is to shut down the Repat, essentially. And yes, it was in an older ward, but it was clean and well looked after, and the nurses and doctors and health professionals were fantastic. The discussion I had with one or two of the nurses about the EPAS—the electronic recording of all your data—was interesting. I did not tell them who I was or where I was from.
It is interesting just how much work goes into trying to make that work. I understand the government has spent $400 million for a recording system that is really going nowhere. I think the intent is great, but I think we obviously have the wrong program. The EPAS is going to be rolled out in the new Royal Adelaide Hospital and I think we are up for major cost blowouts unless this is really tightened up. It is something that needs to be looked at, and an electronic monitoring system for all your health needs will never work unless it is connected to all GPs, all hospitals, and everyone, at least, has a handle on how to operate it.
In saying that, I again thank all nurses for their dedication, their work efforts and ethics over all the years not just in hospitals but in aged-care facilities and right across the board. If we did not have nurses, life just would not be the same.