The outback’s new popularity with tourists is placing increased pressure on nursing posts like Cue, often putting them out of service. Cue Shire chief executive and ambulance volunteer Rob Madson said a nurse and volunteers who managed a recent accident with multiple casualties and a fatality were still affected by the trauma and emotional fallout. “A week later we had an unmanned nursing post and a small pool of volunteers left to deal with another two very serious situations,” he said. Councillor and cancer patient Liz Houghton said her throat was closing over on a Sunday this month and she had trouble breathing. “I called for an ambulance, there was no ambulance and no nurse at the nursing post which is unattended all weekend,” she said. “I called my friend, who is an ambo, driver here from Moora, and he was on about 150km or thereabouts to get me to Meeka — I couldn’t fly because I am on blood units.” Cr Houghton said the nursing post had just had another priority one incident on Friday last week. “There was no one else there to back up the one nurse if something goes wrong,” she said. “Ten weeks ago my son had a motorbike accident and there was no nurses at the nursing post,” she said. “I had to take him to Meekatharra myself.” Nationals North West Central Member Vince Catania has been calling for more staff in Murchison nursing posts for years. “Nursing posts, already insufficiently resourced, are now under intense pressure as thousands of people ‘wander’ through the regions, stretching services and volunteer groups well beyond what’s reasonable,” he said. “The Premier and the health minister cannot continue to accept that this is business as usual for these regional communities.” Last week WA Health Minister Roger Cook told Parliament stimulus package funding would support facility upgrades including staff housing to help attract and retain staff. “Nursing positions at Cue and Yalgoo have been reclassified to clinical nurse specialist post roles in an attempt to attract appropriately skilled staff,” he said.