Patient safety will improve with more nurses in North Coast hospitals – under a Foley Labor Government pledge to lift nurse to patient ratios in the region’s hospitals.

Labor will delivery new ratios in hospitals across the North Coast to ensure better patient care and reduce understaffing problems that have plagued the public health system under the North Coast Nationals.

NSW Labor’s policy will introduce mandated staffing levels in regional hospitals like Tweed, Lismore Base, Byron Central Hospital, Murwillumbah District and Ballina District Hospitals which will bring them into line with Sydney hospitals.

Mr Foley made the announcement today on a visit to Tweed as part of his statewide tour to promote Labor’s policy of putting hospitals and schools before Sydney stadiums.

Joining Mr Foley were Country Labor candidate for Tweed, Craig Elliot. Mr Foley made the announcement today outside Tweed Hospital, alongside nurses who have been calling on the Berejiklian-Barilaro government to mandate that regional hospitals get the same nurse to patient ratios as city hospitals.

Labor’s policy will employ hundreds more nurses in “B” and “C” group hospitals across NSW, improving patient care in about 60 separate hospitals – most of them outside Sydney, Wollongong and Newcastle – part of Labor’s message that it will always invest money in schools and hospitals before Sydney stadiums.

Mr Foley said nurses and midwives do extraordinary work but were under severe pressure.  They are overworked and under resourced due to a lack of support from the Berejiklian Government.

Numerous studies show that nurse to patient ratios save lives as there is a clear link between higher staff levels and improved outcomes for patients.

Nurse to patient ratios reduce errors, improve the amount of time each nurse can spend on patient care, create better workplaces, reduce stress and lead to higher retention of nurses and midwives. NSW Labor’s full and detailed policy will be released closer to the March 2019 election and will be fully costed. Victoria and Queensland have already enshrined nurse-to-patient ratios in law.

Quotes attributable to NSW Opposition Leader Luke Foley 

This expansion adds to what we have already announced – health care should not be post code dependent. We will employ hundreds more nurses for city and country hospitals.’

‘Nurses are the bedrock of our hospitals. They make an extraordinary contribution but they need a system where their work can be delivered more efficiently – and without adding additional stress to their crucial jobs.’

‘It’s shameful that the government allows hospitals to be understaffed while putting billions of dollars into Sydney stadiums.”