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Nurse-to-Patient Ratios - It Just Makes Sense!

Quite rightly, we judge a society by the way in which it treats those in the greatest need.  Here in Australia, we are proud of our public health system, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't be open to changes that can improve it.

Queensland and Victoria already have legislation in place which mandates nurse-to-patient ratios, and research has shown that a higher number of registered nurses relative to the number of patients in their care has a positive impact on patient outcomes, including decreased lengths of stay in hospital and reduced inpatient mortality (Queensland Health, May 2016).

The introduction of nurse-to-patient ratios here in WA will allow us to:

     • improve patient safety and quality of care, thus providing greater patient satisfaction and

        improved patient outcomes;

     • provide patients with a reliable and consistent level of care;

     • improve recruitment, retention and job satisfaction among nurses, and provide greater

        workforce sustainability;

     • and ensure safer nursing workloads and transparency around nursing staff levels.

I fully support the Australian Nursing Federation of WA's push to legislate for a maximum 4-to-1 ratio, and publicly pledge to support that legislation if elected.  This is how we SHOULD be spending tax payer's money, as opposed to the waste we see around us daily.

You can support the Federation's campaign by visiting their website - - and by voting for your Independent Candidate here in Rockingham on 11 March.

Why won't the two big parties come to the table, and work towards nurse-to-patient ratios?  In a word, money.  They are afraid it will cost too much in terms of the budget bottom line.  They still have money to throw around - $8.3 million on advertising to sell the "Bigger Picture" of infrastructure projects, $30 million for a new wave park that the residents of Alfred Cove don't want, and $440 million to dredge Betty's Jetty.  But they can't find the money to ensure that we have at least one nurse to every four patients in our hospitals.  It may not be criminal, but to my mind it isn't moral either.

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