In the largest workforce boost in the history of Australian healthcare, patients will gain an extra 5000 nurses and midwives under a plan announced today by the State Government.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian, who announced the plan at Nepean Hospital, said the unprecedented workforce rise over four years was a huge boost.
“We are investing $2.8 billion to recruit thousands of extra nurses, midwives and frontline staff to care for patients, far more than Labor promised,” Ms Berejiklian said.
“Labor promised hundreds of nurses across NSW in its election material but the Liberals & Nationals are boosting frontline staff numbers to figures never seen before.
“Patients in NSW will now have more nurses to look after them and nurses will have more colleagues to share the workload – all due to our strong economic management.”
Deputy Premier John Barilaro said almost half the new nurses and midwives employed will be in regional areas. In total, 8300 frontline staff, including doctors, allied health and other professionals will be added to the workforce, with 45 per cent in the regions.
“Whether you are in Byron or Bombala, Broken Hill or Bulahdelah, Wagga Wagga or Walgett, you will get the care you need, much closer to home,” Mr Barilaro said.
Health Minister Brad Hazzard said nursing hours per patient day will increase dramatically in Peer Group B and C hospitals across NSW, from 5.2 hours to six hours and 5.5 to six hours respectively.
“This increase in nurse numbers equates to even higher nurse to patient ratios than the NSW Nurses & Midwives’ Association asked for and leaves Labor’s promises in the dust,” Mr Hazzard said.
“No other State or Territory in Australia could match this commitment and the only reason we can deliver it is thanks to eight years of strong economic management.”
The new investment will fund targeted areas of services and workforce including:
· More nurses: 5000 nurses and midwives across regional and metropolitan areas of NSW, including mental health and residential care nurses;
· More doctors: 1060 more doctors to enhance response times for patients waiting in emergency departments, for elective surgery, and to access psychiatric care;
· More allied health staff: 880 additional allied health staff including pharmacists, social workers, physiotherapists, occupational therapists and psychologists; and
· More support staff: 1360 hospital support staff.
“The Liberals & Nationals Government has built or upgraded more than 100 hospitals and health facilities since elected, with 100 more underway,” Ms Berejiklian said.
Western Sydney hospitals will see at least 774 new staff, including 113 doctors, 456 nurses and midwives, 82 allied health staff and 123 hospital support workers.