What a re-elected Andrews Government will do in 2018-2022
Please note that this content has been extracted from the state election flyer distributed to members in marginal seats
Safe Patient Care Act Amendment Bill
Changes to the Safe Patient Care Act will add new and improved nurse/midwife to patient ratios into the Victorian public health system. Regrettably this legislation will have to be re-introduced to the new parliament (which may only occur if the Andrews Government is returned) after the Coalition and some minor parties opposed continuing to sit in the upper house to debate and pass the legislation. Only Labor, the Greens and the Reason Party were prepared to work beyond midnight to make these changes law.
A re-elected Andrews Government will introduce new ratios in four areas that have no ratios:
- Oncology wards 4:4:8 + in-charge on all shifts
- Acute stroke units 1:3 + in-charge on all shifts
- Specialist haematology wards 3:3:5 + in-charge on all shifts
- Level 1 emergency department resuscitation bays 1:1 on all shifts.
It will improve ratios in:
- Palliative care units 4:4:6 + in-charge on each shift (currently 4:4:8 with no in-charge on night duty)
- Birthing suites (AM shifts) + in-charge if 6 suites or more (currently no in-charge)
- Special care nurseries (AM and PM shifts) + in-charge if 8 cots or more (currently no in-charge).
The changes will include abolishing the ‘50 per cent rule’ on all shifts in general medical and surgical wards and most other wards.
This will guarantee more nurses and midwives across the public sector.
A re-elected Andrews Government will deliver the ratio amendment bill and the new and improved ratios in five phases over the next five years, resulting in more than 600 additional nurses and midwives.
ANMF is working to secure further ratio improvements by the Andrews Government as part of their 2018 election commitments.
Building the future workforce
Improving and introducing ratios requires more nurses and midwives. A new $50 million Nursing and Midwifery Workforce Development Fund will support:
- more graduate nurse and midwife positions and clinical mentors
- a statewide graduate program for 400 enrolled nurses
- 400 postgraduate scholarships for nurses and midwives
- 400 places in clinical specialty programs such as the Postgraduate Midwifery Employment Program
- 800 refresher programs for nurses and midwives who are registered but not practicing.
It will also include $10 million for grants, scholarships, graduate jobs and refresher programs for rural and regional students and current nurses and midwives.
Bricks and mortar
Announcements so far include:
- $562 million Frankston Hospital redevelopment including an additional 120 beds and 50 mental health beds
- $217 million to build the next stage of Latrobe Regional Hospital, including 44 additional beds, three new operating theatres and additional medical and surgical beds
- $1.5 billion to build a new Footscray hospital to open in 2025.
Authorised by Lisa Fitzpatrick, Secretary, ANMF (Vic Branch), 535 Elizabeth Street, Melbourne VIC 3000.