Labor-Greens government failing to meet nurse to patient ratios


The ACT Labor-Greens government is failing to meet new nurse-to-patient ratios as the crisis in the ACT’s health system worsens.

Freedom Of Information (FOI) documents obtained by the Canberra Liberals reveal only partial compliance with the nurse/midwifery to patient ratios that were introduced in February.

“The reason for introducing nurse-to-patient ratios was to provide better care for patients and ease the pressure on nurses but the government has failed on both counts,” Shadow Health Minister Leanne Castley said.

“When will the government comply with its own ratios?”

Ms Castley will today move a motion in the Legislative Assembly calling on the ACT Labor-Greens government to provide ratio compliance figures since February and commit to publicly releasing figures as happens in Queensland.

The FOI documents dated February 18, 2022 are a “Ratios Update” for the Health Minister which reveal that, on February 15, only 8 out of 17 wards were fully compliant with nurse-to-patient ratios for the evening shift.

“For the morning shift, only nine out of 17 wards were fully compliant, and it was predicted the night shift would not be fully compliant,” Ms Castley said.

“Health Minister Stephen-Smith failed to properly plan for workforce shortages due to COVID-19 as well as staff quitting and on leave.

“The health system is cracking, and the Minister has to stop the exodus of nurses before it gets worse,” Ms Castley concluded.