Nurses and midwives at Taree's Manning Base Hospital have walked off the job for more than 15 hours.
NSW Nurses and Midwives' Association (NSWNMA) Manning Hospital Branch members met Thursday afternoon (June 24) and voted to stop work from 3.30pm Thursday until 7am Friday (June 25) in a bid to improve staffing levels across the hospital.
This follows a rally held by nurses, in their own time on Wednesday (June 16), outside the Manning Base Hospital and coinciding with a the rural, regional and remote health inquiry hearing in Taree.
NSWNMA Manning Hospital Branch secretary, Scott Grant, said members were extremely disappointed the NSW government continued to ignore calls for shift-by-shift ratios and a fair pay rise.
"Nurses and midwives at Manning Hospital felt like we had no choice but to take action today to highlight our concerns and bring our plight to the attention of the NSW government," Mr Grant said.
"At Manning Hospital, not enough staff have been recruited to meet the existing health care needs of our community and we are constantly reliant on staff doing overtime.
"We also have a large number of new graduate nurses and midwives who need support and supervision but we don't have enough Clinical Nurse Educators to provide that.
"We need ratios so when staff turn up to work, they can be assured of a safe staffing level."
In recent weeks, thousands of nurses and midwives have walked off the job, closed beds or rallied at more than 30 public health sites across the State.
Manning Base Hospital remains open to the public and life-preserving staff will be available for the duration of the strike action.