Today I joined midwives and nurses to recognise the International Day of the Midwife (May 5) and International Nurses Day (May 12).

Each day these caring professionals ensure all Tasmanians receive first class midwifery and nursing care when being treated within our health system.

International Day of the Midwife is a day of celebration for midwives across the globe.

This year the theme was – Midwives, Mothers and Families: Partners for Life: a timely reminder of the working partnership between midwives and families and an opportunity to celebrate the important work of midwives here in Tasmania.

International Nurses Day is celebrated each year on the birthday of Florence Nightingale.

The theme for 2017 is – Nurses: A Voice to Lead and fits well with the important role they play as we work to improve the Tasmanian health system.

Nurses are involved in all levels of decision-making – from the bedside to the executive team and make an invaluable contribution to the health of Tasmanians.

Our midwives and nurses are pivotal in leading health reform for a more personal, sustainable and responsive health system.

It is also important to acknowledge the role of clinical educators, who guide our midwifery and nursing students on clinical placement as they endeavour to join these proud and respected professions.

The Hodgman Liberal Government has clearly demonstrated a strong commitment to the midwifery and nursing professions recognising the importance of retaining our word-class Tasmanian educated nurses by:

• employing an additional 140 full-time equivalent nurses;
• working to reduce double shifts;
• introducing legislation that extends mandatory jail sentences for serious assaults against midwives and nurses;
• increasing graduate nurse placements and
• reinstating child health nurses into our schools.

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