The Australian Medical Association says recent industrial action by nurses in Perth was "heavy-handed" and put patients lives at risk.

Nurses closed one in five public hospital beds last week and forced the cancellation of some operations, in their push for a pay rise.

They had threatened to walk off the job yesterday but on the eve of the industrial action, the Premier Colin Barnett offered them a 14 per cent pay rise over three years.

The AMA's Richard Choong says the action put incredible pressure on public hospitals, and could have had dire consequences.

"It's disappointing that this industrial action revolved around patients,"

"Patients and their care and their health and well-being was used as a pawn in the whole negotiation process.

"That's really disappointing from healthcare professionals, that someone would use patients' lives and health as the bargaining piece in this situation."

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