The Andrews Labor Government’s flagship Joan Kirner Women’s and Children’s Hospital will become home to more than 150 nurses and midwives when it opens its doors to patients in May.
Premier Daniel Andrews and Minister for Health Jenny Mikakos joined nurses and midwives to inspect the finishing touches on the $200 million cutting-edge hospital, which will open its doors in May.
It will include a critical Neonatal Intensive Care Unit for the most critically sick babies – the first of its kind in the western suburbs.
Thanks to the Labor Government’s new and improved nurse and midwife to patient ratios, hard-working nurses and midwives are in higher demand than ever before. The strengthened ratios are now in place after passing the Parliament last month.
In the first legislation passed by the 59th Parliament, the Labor Government enshrined stronger minimum nurse and midwife to patient ratios in law, delivering 600 new nurses and midwives in public hospitals. Because of these ratios, additional nurses and midwives are working in our hospitals, caring for patients.
The new ratios mean the number of nurses and midwives will be rounded up – instead of down – removing a loophole that meant staff often had to carry a workload of up to 50 per cent higher than the prescribed ratio.
Now, the Government will get on with the job of making further ratio improvements, which will see a total of 1,100 new nurses and midwives find great careers doing what they do best in Victorian hospitals. The Government will also establish a $50 million Nursing and Midwifery Workforce Development Fund.
The Joan Kirner Women’s and Children’s Hospital will make sure more local women and their families can get the world-class paediatric and maternity services they need, closer to home. The state-of-the-art hospital will take pressure off the nearby Sunshine Hospital, which is forecast to deliver up to 7,000 births each year by 2026.
It will boast 20 maternity delivery rooms, 237 beds, 39 special care nursery cots, four theatres and additional clinics – and will become home to the first neonatal intensive care cots in the west.
As stated by Premier Daniel Andrews
“The new Joan Kirner Women’s and Children’s Hospital will mean more families in the west can access world-class paediatric and maternity services closer to home.”
As stated by Minister for Health Jenny Mikakos
“There’s no use building world-class hospitals if our nurses and midwives don’t have the resources they need to do what they do best. That’s why we’ve given them the fair patient ratios that they deserve.”
As stated by Member for St Albans Natalie Suleyman
“This will be a game changer for our community and for local families. Thousands of mums will be able to have their baby and ensure they get the treatment and care they need.”