QUEENSLAND Labor has promised to employ 3500 new nurses state wide, including 180 in the Darling Downs Hospital and Health Services region, if they are re-elected at the November 25 State election.
Labor candidate for Nanango Ben Rankin said the commitment of additional frontline nurses was an important boost for health services.
"The commitment of additional nurses is in keeping with the Government's investment of more than $60 million in the redevelopment of the Kingaroy hospital," he said.
The government will also employ three new midwives across the DDHHS region, permanently extend the Nurse Navigator program to 19 and expand nurse-to-patient ratios.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the additional roles would increase capacity within the health system and contribute to the development of a sustainable Queensland nursing and midwifery workforce.
"My government hires nurses. The LNP sacks them," the Premier said.
"Nurse Navigators are a team of registered nurses who provide a service for patients who have complex health conditions and require a high degree of comprehensive, clinical care.
"We have a legislated nurse-to-patient ratios in adult acute medical and surgical wards, despite the opposition of the LNP."
Current Nanango LNP MP Deb Frecklington said the announcement meant nothing.
"Today's announcement of extra nurses and midwives means nothing if access to better health services for patients in regional areas is not getting better," Mrs Frecklington said.
LNP Shadow Health Minister John-Paul Langbroek said the government should address the decline in health services.
"Labor should address their failure to stop hospital ramping, bed block and the overall decline in services at Queensland hospitals," he said.
"Nurses across Queensland are still feeling the sting from Labor's bungled health payroll system every fortnight, seven years after it was first rolled out."
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