The Victorian Government will introduce legislation to guarantee a minimum nurse-to-patient ratio as set out in current enterprise agreements. Health Minister Jill Hennessy said the bill would take the staffing issue off the bargaining table for future industrial agreements.
There is no one figure for all public hospitals, as the minimum ratio depends on the type of care given and the time of day. “Nurse patient ratios are really important for patient safety,” Ms Hennessy said. “It goes to the quality and capacity of care that Victorian patients get.
“Nurse patient ratios are important because the greater the care and focus nurses are able to give to our patients, we know the better clinical outcomes that they have.”
Premier Daniel Andrews made the announcement with Ms Hennessy while meeting with nurses at the Royal Melbourne Hospital.
The legislation will also provide “flexibility” to reconfigure nurse and midwife staffing and roster arrangements “to ensure the best utilisation of available nurses and midwives to maintain high quality care”.