Saturday, September 25, 2010

Nurses In Australia Push For Minimum Nurse-To-Patient Ratios

The Sydney Morning Herald has a story about the New South Wales Nursing Association (NSWNA) pushing for the biggest reform in decades for health care: a minimum of a 1 to 4 nurse to patient ratio.

Brett Holmes, general secretary of the NSW Nurses Association (NSWNA), on Monday said the reform had the backing of both public hospital and community healthcare nurses.

If implemented, it would be the biggest reform of the NSW public health system in decades, he said.

"The evidence from Victoria, California and other places with minimum nurse-to-patient ratios is now in and they work and work better than any other system," he said.

The NSWNA claims the health system has been plagued by nurse shortages and poor skill mix for too long, risking patient safety....

Mr Holmes said the ratio had worked well in Victoria and would help overworked nurses to cope.

"For example, nurse-to-patient ratios have existed in Victoria for ten years and have greatly improved the health system in that state and attracted many former nurses back to the profession," he said.

"If it is good enough for the people of Victoria, it is good enough for the people of NSW.