Minister’s Statement

I rise to update the house on the Andrews Labor government’s implementation of nurse- and midwife-to-patient ratios. I was especially proud that the first piece of legislation passed by this Parliament was to strengthen and improve nurse- and midwife-to-patient ratios in Victoria. These changes introduced new ratios into new settings, improved ratios in current settings and sought to end the unfair rounding rule on priority shifts, which had the effect of undermining the ratios. These ratios took effect from 1 March 2019 and are gradually being phased in over the next five years. From last Sunday, 1 March 2020, new ratios have begun in birthing suites, special care nurseries, haematology, oncology, acute stroke patients and palliative care units. This means our smallest babies in Victoria and new mums, as well as patients who are suffering from cancer, stroke and blood diseases, will have more nurses and midwives assigned to care for them.

Once these improvements are made, we will commence a new round of changes that will see the total number of new nurses and midwives in Victoria reach 1100. Our hardworking nurses and midwives make a commitment each and every day to support us, our families and friends in time of need. Unlike those opposite, who sought to remove these protections, Labor will always stand with our hardworking health staff so that they can deliver the best care possible to Victorians. We are committed to patient care and patient safety, and there is absolutely no question that our nurse- and midwife-to-patient ratios do exactly that.