A re-elected Andrews Labor Government will recruit 1,100 new nurses and midwives so they get the support they need to deliver the very best care to more patients with cancer, mums giving birth, and Victorians with mental health illnesses.

We stood with our nurses and midwives and stopped them having to trade away their pay and conditions just to guarantee ratios that put patients first, making Victoria the first state to enshrine in law minimum nurse and midwife to patient ratios in public hospitals.

Labor won’t allow the Liberals to let down Victoria’s nurses and midwives again. We’ll get the patient ratios right, recruit more than 1,100 new nurses and stop the Liberals ever again forcing our nurses to choose between their working conditions and their ability to care for their patients.

We will:

  • Ensure that nurse numbers are always rounded up – not down – when applying ratios in every public hospital across Victoria – and across every shift
  • Allocate a Midwife in Charge in maternity wards with six or more birthing suites, and a Nurse in Charge in short-stay observation units where the unit and emergency department has 30 beds or more
  • Provide After-Hours Coordinators in hospitals with maternity or emergency services
  • Fund better care at night, with more nurses on the night shift in our busiest hospitals

Labor will establish a $50 million Nursing and Midwifery Workforce Development Fund to make sure we retain, recruit and train more nurses and midwives.

These changes will create the fair and reasonable ratios that our nurses and midwives tell us they need to provide all Victorians with the very best care. It means every Victorian patient in every public hospital will get better treatment and care – from new mums, to those with mental illness, stroke and cancer patients, or Victorians with a terminal illness.

Only Labor stands with hard-working nurses and midwives and only Labor puts patients first. The Liberals cut a billion dollars from health when they were last in office. They axed jobs, failed to open the beds they promised and went to war with health workers – and they’ll do it all again if they get the chance.