Wollongong (Dharawal country): Greens candidate for the seat of Keira Kit Docker is calling for mandated nurse to patient ratios in public hospitals to ensure patient safety, improve working conditions for nurses and midwives and tackle the growing NSW healthcare crisis.
Cate Faehrmann, the Greens NSW health spokesperson, introduced the Health Services Amendment (Nurse-to-Patient and Midwife-to-Patient Ratios) Bill 2022 to the NSW Upper House in 2022 which would have mandated safe nurse-to-patient staffing ratios in NSW public hospitals.
“Instead this so called Liberal/ National coalition and NSW Labor voted to cap the wages of essential workers,” Mr Docker said.
“It’s critical we have a fair, equitable and safe health system for nurses and midwives, paramedics and healthcare workers – and most importantly for patients.
“It’s disappointing that neither of the major parties have committed to meet the full demands of nurses and midwives who have been marching in the streets and raising the alarm.
“If elected, I will work with the new government and our Greens MPs to ensure our nurses and healthcare workers have safer working conditions, better nurse to patient ratios and affordable health care in NSW,” Kit said.
Dr Amanda Cohn Greens candidate for the Upper House said: “Not only do ratios save lives, they also reduce costs on our healthcare system because patients who receive quality care in hospital are less likely to be readmitted.
“The Greens NSW are also committed to a real pay rise for nurses, midwives and paramedics,” Dr Cohn said.
“Patients across NSW are struggling to access the care they need because of staffing shortages. I have worked with nurses who choose to take extra shifts in retail where they can earn more than working in our public hospitals – this is a disgrace that needs to be urgently rectified,” Dr Cohn said.
Greens MP and Health spokesperson Cate Faehrmann said:
“Ratios will give the state’s nurses and midwives a safe working environment and ensure patients are receiving the care they need,” Cate Faehrmann said.
“Nurses and midwives are at breaking point. If we don’t implement nurse-to-patient ratios we will see a mass exodus from our health system.
“Chronic understaffing is dangerous for patients and it’s dangerous for nurses and midwives. The Greens will do what the other parties won’t and move to legislate ratios.
“Queensland, Victoria and the ACT have introduced nurse to patient ratios with the South Australian Government committed to doing it in their first term. There is no reason for NSW not to do the same,” Ms Faehrmann said.