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Hospital standards falling: Cairns nurses

Hospital standards falling: Cairns nurses
Photo: Hospital standards falling: Cairns nurses
A union survey suggests hospital standards and staff morale in far north Queensland have plunged in the past two years.

Cairns nurses and doctors say hospital standards have fallen drastically and staff morale is suffering.

A union survey of 500 nurses, doctors and health workers in the Cairns region found nearly 66 per cent believed hospital standards and the quality of services had dropped considerably since the Newman government won power in March 2012.

About 91 per cent said staff morale had also taken a huge hit due to changes to the public health system.

The majority said the changes had a negative impact on job security and more than 80 per cent rated the government's performance as poor to very poor.

Public sector union Together secretary Alex Scott said the Newman government had cut staff numbers and health budgets to a point where staff were routinely forced to work double shifts and perform regular unpaid overtime.

"Health workers in Cairns and the surrounding regions are being forced to do more with less and there's only so much they can take," he said.

The Queensland Nurses' Union secretary Beth Mohle said ongoing staff and budget cuts had caused dissatisfaction and unrest among staff.

"These concerns are causing a steep decline in staff morale and it's public health services and hospitals - and the public - that will suffer as a result," she said.

"Sadly, in addition, we are seeing a concerted push by employer groups who are lobbying the federal government to cut weekend penalty rates."

The Queensland Nurses' Union and Together union conducted the survey.

Copyright AAP 2014.

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