Labor to introduce nursing ratio in budget

MORE than $200 million will be invested in nursing when the Queensland Government releases its first budget this week.

The government announced on Sunday it would invest $212.3 million over four years in nursing initiatives to "improve patient safety".

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the spending would lead to 400 experienced nurses being employed across the state.

"International research shows that nurses have the biggest impact on patient safety and better health care outcomes for patients," she said.

"Strengthening the nursing workforce leads to shorter periods of stay in hospitals, improved clinical outcomes, reduced wait times and better access to care.

"My government will legislate nurse to patient ratios to establish the number of patients that can safely be allocated to a single nurse in Queensland public health facilities."

Opposition leader Lawrence Springborg denied the LNP had reduced nursing services in Queensland when in power.

"We had 1000 extra nurses employed in Queensland public hospitals after we lost government in Queensland," he said.

"Not only did we have 1000 more nurses when we left government in Queensland we actually paid them more, unlike Labor."

The budget funding will see $101.6 million over four years spent on expanding the nursing workforce and $110.7 million over four years for an additional 4000 nursing and midwifery graduate positions.

Health minister Cameron Dick said the government would legislate minimum nurse-to-patient ratios of 1:4 in the morning and afternoon, and 1:7 during night shifts.

- APN NEWSDESK



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