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More nursing jobs in Qld as patient ratios introduced

Prescribed medical, surgical and mental health wards will be required to maintain a minimum of one nurse to four patients for morning and afternoon shifts, and one nurse to seven patients for night shifts.
Prescribed medical, surgical and mental health wards will be required to maintain a minimum of one nurse to four patients for morning and afternoon shifts, and one nurse to seven patients for night shifts. Iain Curry

AN extra 250 nurses are set to be recruited by Queensland Health throughout Queensland at a cost of $25.9 million dollars to meet new patient ratio legislation. 

The state government has passed legislation on Tuesday to amend to the Hospital and Health Boards Act 2011 to require minimum ratios in public sector health service facilities.

Under the legislation and regulation, prescribed medical, surgical and mental health wards will be required to maintain a minimum of one nurse to four patients for morning and afternoon shifts, and one nurse to seven patients for night shifts.

"This is a win for both patients and nurses in our great public hospitals," Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said.

"Patients will get better care as this sets minimum standards for nursing care in hospitals.

"And nurses will have more manageable, safer workloads and increased job satisfaction."

Hospital and Health Services will be responsible for meeting the ratios set out in the legislation, and will meet the cost from existing resources.

Health and Ambulance Services Minister Cameron Dick said that once the Act had been in operation for one year, the Government would review its effect and consider whether the ratios should be extended to other wards and facilities, or different ratios should be developed.

He said the Bill was the product of a wide variety of views through a broad-ranging consultation process, exposure drafts of the bill being distributed to 46 organisations, including nursing and midwifery colleges, Queensland schools or nursing and midwifery, and the Australian Medical Association (Queensland).

"We have also consulted widely with the Queensland Nurses Union, the Together Union and the Australian Workers Union in putting together this legislation," Minister Dick said.

But the LNP has dubbed the legislation "a dud" and said there was no evidence it would help patients.

Shadow Health Minister Mark McArdle said the policy was based on union demands - not evidence.

"What we've seen from the Health Minister today is a policy based on union boss demands not real, clinical evidence," he said.

"Cameron Dick has not explained how the government arrived at the proposed ratio nor has he released the data to prove how it will be effective."

Mr Dick said the government had worked closely with unions in developing the laws.

"We see a responsible role for trade unions in representing their workforce in providing input into legislation such as this which will have a big impact on their members and I thank those unions for their input," he said.

When it passes parliament the ratio will come into law from July 1, 2016. 


The legislation will apply to Medical Wards at the following facilities:


• Atherton Hospital
• Bundaberg Hospital
• Caboolture Hospital
• Cairns Hospital
• Caloundra Hospital
• Gladstone Hospital
• Gold Coast University Hospital
• Gympie Hospital
• Hervey Bay Hospital
• Innisfail Hospital
• Ipswich Hospital
• Logan Hospital
• Mackay Hospital
• Mareeba Hospital
• Maryborough Hospital
• Mount Isa Hospital
• Nambour Hospital
• Princess Alexandra Hospital
• Queen Elizabeth II Jubilee Hospital
• Redcliffe Hospital
• Redland Hospital
• Robina Hospital
• Rockhampton Hospital
• Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital
• Prince Charles Hospital
• Toowoomba Hospital
• Townsville Hospital
• Warwick Hospital


Surgical Wards at the following facilities:

• Atherton Hospital
• Bundaberg Hospital
• Caboolture Hospital
• Cairns Hospital
• Gladstone Hospital
• Gold Coast University Hospital
• Hervey Bay Hospital
• Ipswich Hospital
• Logan Hospital
• Mackay Hospital
• Maryborough Hospital
• Mount Isa Hospital
• Nambour Hospital
• Princess Alexandra Hospital
• Queen Elizabeth II Jubilee Hospital
• Redcliffe Hospital
• Redland Hospital
• Robina Hospital
• Rockhampton Hospital
• Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital
• Prince Charles Hospital
• Toowoomba Hospital
• Townsville Hospital
• Warwick Hospital

Mental Health Wards at:

• Royal Brisbane & Womens Hospital
• Princess Alexandra Hospital

Topics:  hospital nursing queensland


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