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Infection Control

Labor dispute causing health hazard

May 11, 2012
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SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA — Royal North Shore Hospital in Sydney, Australia, is facing a shortage of clean rooms due to a lack of custodial staffing, according to The Sydney Morning Herald.

Infectious patients are often abandoned in corridors for hours while they wait for clean rooms, leading nurses to write to the NSW Health Minister begging for an intervention in a long-running dispute about staffing, the article stated.

The nurses'' letter said the staffing dispute, which has continued for 12 weeks, is having "a debilitating effect on the hospital,” the article noted.

"This delay is placing the safety of patients at risk and taking ambulance officers off the road," the letter added.

According to the article, the staff shortage is due to an ongoing dispute between InfraShore, the consortium responsible for the public-private partnership; subcontractor ISS Health Services; and the Australian Health Infrastructure about whether an increase in staff is warranted and who should be responsible for funding the additional staffing.

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