Nurse ra­tio to save lives

Townsville Bulletin - - OPINION -

MAKE no mis­take, the com­mit­ment by Fed­eral La­bor Leader Bill Shorten to make the CBD sta­dium hap­pen is an im­por­tant de­vel­op­ment for this cru­cial city- defin­ing pro­ject.

Mr Shorten yesterday used a visit to Townsville to sig­nal a La­bor gov­ern­ment would make a size­able com­mit­ment to the sta­dium – the corner­stone of a wider $ 1.9 bil­lion ur­ban re­newal of the city.

“I’m sure that what­ever we work out, ( La­bor can­di­date) Cathy O’Toole will get a bet­ter deal than what has ever been of­fered be­fore by Lib­eral or La­bor,” Mr Shorten said.

They are en­cour­ag­ing words the com­mu­nity will right­fully hold Mr Shorten and Ms O’Toole to at the next elec­tion.

The fund­ing pledge echoes the move by State La­bor at the last elec­tion, which caught the LNP flat- footed un­til it too pledged fi­nan­cial sup­port for the pro­ject.

Let’s hope Mr Shorten’s sup­port for the sta­dium trig­gers a sim­i­lar re­sponse from the Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment, and the tire­some po­lit­i­cal pos­tur­ing around this pro­ject can fi­nally end.

Mr Shorten makes sense when he says there is a role for the Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment, not just the state author­i­ties, to fund the sta­dium. Ara­mac’s un­speak­able loss ANN Hay was one of those hard­work­ing, gen­er­ous peo­ple who help form the back­bone of small bush towns like Ara­mac.

She was one of those un­sung hero­ines of the in­land, al­ways ready to chip in and lend a hand, no mat­ter the time or the ef­fort it takes.

Her death in hos­pi­tal in Townsville on Tues­day af­ter try­ing to break up a fight be­tween her hus­band and son in the main street of Ara­mac on Satur­day night will bring this small, frag­ile com­mu­nity to its knees.

Af­ter three years of drought, the death of one its most prom­i­nent and loved cit­i­zens will cre­ate a whole new well of de­spair in Ara­mac.

What can be done or said that will help this fam­ily come to terms with the loss of this warm and lov­ing wife and mother, some­one who was al­ways so ready to give and who never asked for thanks or ac­co­lades?

A tragedy has hap­pened. A fam­ily is in de­spair. All we can ask is that Ann Hay is rest­ing in peace. THE Queens­land Nurses’ Union ( QNU) wel­comes Premier Palaszczuk’s com­mit­ment this week to leg­is­late nurse- to- pa­tient ra­tios from July 1, 2016.

This is a his­toric de­ci­sion which puts the health of pa­tients above the bud­get bot­tom line.

Queens­land will likely be­come only the fourth gov­ern­ment in the world to in­tro­duce this life- sav­ing nurs­ing ini­tia­tive ( Cal­i­for­nia 2004, Vic­to­ria, Aus­tralia, and Wales, UK, ex­pected 2015).

Few peo­ple re­alise there are cur­rently no laws that gov­ern how many pa­tients can safely be al­lo­cated to a sin­gle nurse in public, pri­vate or aged- care fa­cil­i­ties.

Leg­is­lated and reg­u­lated ra­tios, like those that ap­ply to car­ers and chil­dren in Queens­land child­care fa­cil­i­ties, do not cur­rently ap­ply in our hos­pi­tals.

In­ter­na­tional re­search has found sev­en­fold dif­fer­ences in the like­li­hood of pa­tients dy­ing be­tween hos­pi­tals with var­ied nurseto- pa­tient num­bers.

The in­tro­duc­tion of nurse ra­tios will save lives in Queens­land, it’s that sim­ple.

Queens­land’s nurses and mid­wives have cam­paigned vig­or­ously with the QNU to gain this com­mit- ment to ra­tios. Our nurses and mid­wives have worked ex­tremely hard to keep pa­tients safe fol­low­ing the for­mer state gov­ern­ment’s cull of al­most 5000 public hos­pi­tal and health ser­vices jobs, in­clud­ing more than 1800 nurses and mid­wives.

We will con­tinue our cam­paign un­til all Queens­lan­ders, in all fa­cil­i­ties, have ac­cess to the same safe, high- qual­ity nurs­ing and mid- wifery ser­vices. A QNU tele­vi­sion advertising cam­paign to raise aware­ness on the need for nurseto- pa­tient ra­tios in pri­vate hos­pi­tals and aged- care fa­cil­i­ties, in ad­di­tion to public hos­pi­tals, has just be­gun. This will co­in­cide with the 34th an­nual QNU con­fer­ence in Bris­bane which be­gan yesterday.

I en­cour­age the com­mu­nity to take an ac­tive in­ter­est in their healthcare. If you or a mem­ber of your fam­ily is in a hos­pi­tal or nurs­ing home, please ask the ques­tion: How many nurses are on this ward?

It’s a ques­tion worth ask­ing be­cause the an­swer could save a life.

To find out more go to www. ra­tios­save­lives. com. au

BETH MOHLE, Sec­re­tary, Queens­land

Nurses’ Union.

Pic­ture: iS­TOCK

GOOD MOVE: Queens­land Nurses’ Union wel­comes nurse- to- pa­tient ra­tios.

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