Minister for Education James Merlino and Minister for Health Jill Hennessy today visited the Angliss Hospital to tour the facilities and meet staff and patients.

The Andrews Labor Government has made a commitment of $20 million to provide an intensive care unit and short stay unit at the Angliss Hospital providing up to 20 beds to cater for patients needing urgent care. The new ICU will enable the Angliss to provide the latest technology to treat heart attacks, strokes, severe infections, organ failure and complications resulting from surgery.  This funding will ensure that families can access state-of-the-art care closer to home.

Construction on the project is expected to commence in 2016.

Minister for Education James Merlino and Minister for Health Jill Hennessy, along with nurses and midwives from the Angliss Hospital also celebrated the Andrews Governments recent announcement of landmark legislation to guarantee minimum numbers of nurses and midwives to care for Victorian patients.

The Labor Government recognises the importance of nurse and midwife to patient ratios in ensuring patients receive world class healthcare and has recently announced The Safe Patient Care (Nurse to Patient and Midwife to Patient Ratios) Bill 2015 which will ensure quality care and better outcomes for patients.

Worldwide evidence shows a direct correlation between nursing staffing levels and better nursing-related patient outcomes, such as reduced falls and pressure ulcers.

Under the legislation, the ratios for the number of nurses and midwives per patient currently set out in the nurses’ Public Sector Enterprise Agreement will be retained, and will apply where the Enterprise Agreement is in place.

The legislation also provides flexibility for health services to reconfigure nurse and midwife staffing and roster arrangements to ensure the best utilisation of available nurses and midwives to maintain high quality care.

These will be the most comprehensive laws protecting staffing levels and patient safety at public hospitals anywhere in world. Nurse to patient and midwife to patient ratios were first introduced in 2000, however the former Liberal Government tried to remove them during the last Enterprise Agreement negotiations.

Quality patient care isn’t something to be bargained with. By preserving ratios in law, they will be protected during future bargaining agreements and safe from the risk of being stripped away by future governments.

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