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More beds, more nurses, real reform: NSW Liberals & Nationals health plans

A NSW Liberals & Nationals Government will deliver an extra 1,390 beds and 2,475 more nurses for the NSW health system if elected, NSW Opposition Leader Barry O’Farrell and Shadow Minister for Health Jillian Skinner announced today.

This announcement includes 550 more beds and 275 more nurses over-and-above those currently promised by Labor at an additional cost of $340 million. Previous bed and nurse announcements are already funded in the State Budget and by the Commonwealth.

\”This is a great win for patients, and a great win for our health system,\” Mr O’Farrell said.

\”More beds for our health system and more nurses to treat patients – this is what a NSW Liberals & Nationals Government will deliver for NSW,\” he said.

A NSW Liberals & Nationals Government will deliver the NSW health and hospital system:

  1. An additional 1,390 beds available in our health system – to unblock our emergency departments and deliver better patient care;
  2. 2,475 extra nurses – including 275 additional Clinical Nurse/Midwife Educators and Clinical Nurse/Midwife Specialists;
  3. An aspirational target of 85% bed occupancy for acute adult overnight beds – to reduce patient waiting times and unblock emergency departments; and,
  4. A 10 year Health Professionals Workforce Plan – to deliver the health workforce of the future to the area’s most in need.

\”This plan is affordable, believable and achievable and has been endorsed by clinicians at the coal face of our health system,\” Mr O’Farrell said.

\”Our policies will increase the number of acute adult overnight beds available in our hospitals – helping to ease overcrowding, reduce access block in our emergency departments and lower rates of cancelled surgery.

\”A NSW Liberals & Nationals Government will put patients first,\” Mr O’Farrell said.

Mrs Skinner said many NSW hospitals were struggling with bed occupancy levels of over 100% due to Labor cutting 1,500 hospital beds since 1995 despite a growing population and growing demand.

\”Labor makes it worse by including cots, bassinets and recliner chairs in bed occupancy rates and refuses to acknowledge that hospitals operate more safely, effectively and efficiently when acute adult overnight bed occupancy is around 85%,\” Mrs Skinner said.

\”A NSW Liberals & Nationals Government will aspire to drive this bed occupancy rate down to 85% because we know this is better for patients.

\”An acute adult overnight bed occupancy rate of 85% is widely accepted as a measure of operational quality in our health system and the level most conducive to safe and efficient patient focused care.

\”Lower acute adult overnight bed occupancy rates reduce risks to emergency patients, reduce access block, hasten admissions to hospital, lower mortality rates and reduce the time patients spend in hospital.

\”In addition, for the first time in NSW, we will deliver a comprehensive 10 year Health Professionals Workforce Plan.

\”NSW has the best medical workforce in the nation but we need to ensure there are enough training places, enough specialist doctors, enough skilled nurses and enough allied health professionals and that they are supported in the work they do.

\”Our plan will ensure NSW trains, recruits and retains the doctors, nurses and allied health professionals we need now, and into the future.

\”The NSW Liberals & Nationals’ ‘More Beds, More Nurses, Real Reform’ is a long term plan that will deliver real change to the NSW health system,\” Ms Skinner said.

This policy is in addition to the NSW Liberals & Nationals previously announced health policies including:

  • Making It Work: governance reform, creating Health Districts with local District Health Boards
  • Boosting the Isolated Patient Transport and Accommodation Assistance Scheme (IPTAAS) budget by 50%
  • Increasing funding for programs to end drug and alcohol addiction
  • Establishing a Telehealth Technology Centre
  • Growing funding for Community Health Checks through local pharmacies
  • Providing more money for Medical Research
  • Spending $3 billion Rebuilding NSW Hospital and Health Infrastructure
  • Creating a Preventative Health Fighting Fund
  • Establishing a Mental Health Commission
  • Expanding funding for Chronic Disease Management in a community setting

You can read more about the NSW Liberals & Nationals plan for our health system here. This includes a commitment of $10 million towards fixing the parking at Nepean hospital and$2 million to establish a Telehealth Centre at Nepean Hospital.


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Stuart Ayres - Member for Penrith

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