Labor Guarantees Nurse To Patient Ratios In Law

An Andrews Labor Government will ensure our loved ones receive the best care in Victorian hospitals and aged care facilities with groundbreaking new laws.

Under Labor, Victoria will become the first state in Australia to have nurse to patient and midwife to patient ratios enshrined in legislation.

Ratios require hospitals to roster a set number of qualified nurses on each shift, preserving the amount of time nurses can spend caring for each of their patients.

In 2000, the previous Labor Government made Victoria the first jurisdiction in the world to mandate nurse to patient ratios, following a recommendation from the Australian Industrial Relations Commission.

In the last round of workplace negotiations with nurses in 2011, the Liberal Government tried to cut nurse to patient ratios.

Labor will legislate the ratios that currently exist in the nurses’ enterprise agreement, and will consult with the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation about improving ratios over time.

Quotes attributable to Mr Andrews

“The more patients that nurses manage during their shift, the less time they’re able to spend caring for your family.”

“Nurses want to protect their ratios because they want to protect our loved ones.”

“Like every parent, I’m so grateful for the work of our dedicated nurses and midwives.”

“The Liberals tried to rip up ratios but Labor will preserve them in law.”

Key Facts

• In Victoria’s biggest and busiest hospitals, the ratio is one nurse per four patients in acute wards during the day, and one nurse to eight patients overnight.