Bud­get boost for nurs­ing num­bers

Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS - RACHEL RI­LEY STEVEN WARDILL

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.

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