As nurses and midwives go on strike for a second time in a decade, Greens MP and health spokesperson Cate Faehrmann has given notice in the NSW Upper House of her intention to introduce a bill to legislate nurse-to-patient ratios in NSW, a key demand of striking nurses and midwives.
The Safe Patient Care (Nurse-to-Patient and Midwife-to-Patient Ratios) Bill 2022 will be based upon the NSW Nurses and Midwives Association’s Ratios, Pay and Conditions Award Claim 2022 and consultation undertaken with key stakeholders before being introduced and debated.
“Nurses and midwives are at breaking point. It’s time for the government to listen to their calls for safe nurse to patient ratios so that patients get a safe level of care,” said Ms Faehrmann.
“Chronic understaffing is dangerous for patients and it’s dangerous for nurses and midwives. The Government has refused to listen to the pleas of our frontline healthcare workers, so if they don’t legislate ratios to make our hospitals safe again, the Greens will.
“This Government loves to splash cash on new hospitals but when it comes to ensuring there are enough frontline healthcare workers to actually work in them it cries poor.
“If the Government continues to ignore frontline healthcare workers it risks triggering mass resignations and a full blown public health crisis.
“Both Queensland and Victoria have legislated nurse to patient ratios with South Australia actively considering the issue. With nurses and midwives indicating they will strike until their demands for a safe workplace are listened to, I’m calling on the NSW Government to do the same,” said Ms Faehrmann.