Members of the NSW Nurses and Midwives’ Association (NSWNMA) are taking their campaign for improved nurse-to-patient ratios and the need to save Medicare to the local community for support.
The members, from Liverpool Hospital Branch of the NSWNMA, have called on the NSW government to extend nurse-to-patient ratios into more public health facilities and specialty units, particularly emergency departments, intensive care units and community health.
Currently, only selected wards in metropolitan hospitals have ratios of one nurse to four patients in place. International research indicates that increasing the amount of nursing care leads to better health outcomes for patients.
The passing of June 30 spelt another year without improved nurses-to-patient ratios, prompting nurses to call on the NSW government to take their campaign seriously.
Michelle Nicholson, from the NSWNMA Liverpool Hospital Branch, said local nurses and midwives were committed to safe patient care and a well resourced public health system.
“We think it’s very important the local community is aware of what nurses and midwives are up against, when trying to deliver safe patient care,” Ms Nicholson said.
“Branch members are concerned about the cuts to health funding in both the federal and state budgets and the impact that has on ratios being implemented in all public health facilities in NSW.
“We’re also worried about the impact of a co-payment being introduced for Medicare – if that goes through, it will force people to turn up to our already stretched emergency departments, in a hope of avoiding the fee.
“We will continue campaigning around these issues, to ensure the Liverpool community is well informed.”
The NSWNMA members are also handing out information about their Ratios: put patient safety first campaign and seeking support from community members by encouraging them to visit www.backyournurses.org or via social media at
NB: NSWNMA Liverpool Hospital Branch members will have a quick photo opportunity at Bigge Park, opposite the hospital’s main entrance, at 2.00pm today, Wednesday 16 July. Media is welcome to attend.