Voters have overwhelmingly voted to expand nurse-to-patient ratios in Queensland after providing the Palaszczuk Labor Government an increased majority in Saturday’s election.
In an election dominated by health and COVID-19, Queenslanders had chosen to endorse the Premier’s health plan with a 5% statewide swing and a majority in the state’s unicameral parliament.
Queensland Labor had pledged to hire 5,800 full-time equivalent (FTE) nurses and midwives across the state, as well as expanding their current nurse-to-patient ratios model to include trials in operating theatres and maternity wards.
This was in contrast with the Liberal National Party’s commitment of an extra 2,530 nurses and midwives, of which not detail was provided around the staffing model.
In 2019, the NSW Liberal-National Coalition Government committed to only 5,000 new nurses and midwives, without any indication of full time equivalency or staffing ratios. This despite NSW’s larger population and health needs, and its more substantial budget and turnover.
The Queensland Nurses and Midwives’ Union had been campaigning strongly for improved ratios across the state. It is now clear that their efforts to improve patient safety in the state have paid off.
Nurse and Queensland Nurses and Midwives’ Union member Chris Johnson is currently still in the race as a Labor candidate for the formerly safe Liberal National seat of Coomera.
The NSW Nurses and Midwives’ Association is also campaigning for expanded nurse-to-patient ratios. To support the campaign, sign their official NSW Parliament e-petition.