With the apparent support of State National Party MPs, the O’Farrell Government is refusing to improve and extend mandated minimum nurse-to-patient ratios to:
- seriously ill children;
- emergency departments;
- high dependency units;
- regional hospitals; and
- rural hospitals and multipurpose services.
It is also refusing to provide safer nursing/midwifery staffing in community health services.
In fact, the O’Farrell Government is threatening to use its dictatorial industrial relations’ laws to actually try and suppress the debate about improved nurse staffing and safer patient care in NSW public hospitals and community health services.
This week’s NSW Nationals’ annual general conference in Bathurst has a chance to stand up for rural and regional nurses, midwives and patients.
This week’s NSW Nationals’ conference can demand the State Government ensure rural and regional hospitals have the same nurse-to-patient ratios as the big hospitals in Sydney, Newcastle and Wollongong.
NSW nurses and midwives will be watching closely to see if conference delegates do stand up for rural and regional public hospitals and community health services.
NSW nurses and midwives will be watching closely to see if conference delegates do demand safer staffing levels in all clinical units and equal treatment, for rural and regional hospitals, with the big city hospitals (which are mostly represented by Liberal or Labor MPs).
The big city hospitals have at least one nurse for every four patients in their general medical and surgical wards. That is an average minimum of six hours nursing per patient per day.
In most major regional hospitals it is currently only five or 5.5 hours nursing per day or one nurse for nearly five patients. In many rural hospitals and multi-purpose services there is currently no mandated minimum ratio at all.