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More nurses for the region

Thursday, 12th March, 2015

Craig Ashby, the Country Labor Candidate for Barwon, has welcomed the announcement that a Labor Government will employ 840 more nurses in NSW hospitals.

The 735 new nurses in emergency departments and 105 in paediatric wards will improve patient care, save lives and reduce waiting times in Broken Hill, Narrabri and across NSW, Mr Ashby said.

The nurses will be recruited in the first term of government as part of the introduction of a nurse-to-patient ratio of one nurse to every three patients in emergency departments and paediatric wards.

Nurse staffing ratios represent the minimum number of nurses that can safely care for patients.

In addition, Labor will enshrine nurse-to-patient ratios in law for the first time in NSW so future governments and health officials will have to ensure nurse numbers are protected and not traded away, Mr Ashby said.

The extra nurses will cost an estimated $96 million over the forward estimates.

“I am proud to be part of a Labor team committed to investing in health care,” Mr Ashby said. 

“After four years of Liberal cuts, with $3 billion slashed from our health system, it’s time we had a government that invested in health. 

“More nurses means better care for patients, improved waiting times and more lives saved.”.

Mr Ashby is in Broken Hill campaigning with the local NSW Nurses and Midwives’ Association in their fight to require all age care homes to have a registered nurse on duty 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

He said that the NSW Nurses and Midwives’ Association have been calling for registered nurses in aged care facilities and Labor will answer their call on such an important issue. 

“The health and well-being of our aged care residents is paramount and they deserve the best possible care and quality of life. The welfare of older Australians should come ahead of profits.”

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