Budget boost for nursing numbers
THE ratio of nurses to patients at Townsville Hospital will drastically improve under a State Government plan to improve the standard of care.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk is planning new legislation requiring Queensland’s public hospitals to ensure there is one nurse to every four patients on day shifts, and one nurse to every seven patients at night.
It comes as the Government yesterday unveiled plans to spend an extra $ 212.3 million in tomorrow’s Budget to boost nurse numbers.
Ms Palaszczuk said similar nurse- to- patient ratio laws had been introduced by only a handful of governments around the world.
“International research shows that nurses have the biggest impact on patient safety and better healthcare outcomes for patients,” she said.
“Unfortunately, many nurses have told me how they were stretched too thinly by the previous government.
“Strengthening the nursing workforce leads to shorter periods of stay in hospitals, improved clinical outcomes, reduced wait times and better access to care.”
As part of a $ 1 billion health budget boost, the Palaszczuk Government will spend $ 101.6 million over four years expanding the nurse workforce, including employing 400 “nurse navigators” to help guide patients.
“This will make a patient’s journey through our health system more efficient by ensuring patients are supported by the most appropriate service for their needs,’’ Ms Palaszczuk said.
A further $ 110.7 million over four years will help fund up to 4000 new nurse and midwifery graduate places, she added.
Ms Palaszczuk said her Government’s $ 212.3 million commitment would be topped up by “internal funding” that was already in the system.