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Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Labor pledges 400 more healthcare workers in election promise

ACT Labor has pledged to implement nurse to patient ratios and hire 400 more healthcare workers if re-elected in next month’s 2020 Legislative Assembly election.

In the election statement released on Friday, the party promised an additional 200 nurses and more than 150 clinical workers, including specialists and registrars, to work in Canberra Hospital following its expansion.

ACT Labor leader & Chief Minister Andrew Barr said the plan for more healthcare workers comes at a time the Territory needs it most.

“Our doctors and nurses have been there when our city needed them, testing tens of thousands of Canberrans for COVID-19 and treating those who were infected by the virus,” he said.

“Many of the additional frontline staff will work in our bigger, better Canberra Hospital following the Canberra Hospital Expansion – the largest healthcare infrastructure project since self-government.

“ACT Labor will also implement nurse/midwife to patient ratios, helping to improve patient outcomes and support our nurses and midwives to provide the best care possible.”

The promise is part of ACT Labor’s previous commitment for 250,000 local jobs in the Territory by 2025, as part of its Jobs and Economic Recovery plan released late last month.

Canberra Liberals health spokesperson Vicki Dunne described the election promise as “business as usual dressed as a big announcement”.

“Labor has been promising to expand the Canberra Hospital since 2010. In 2016, Labor promised that the Canberra Hospital doors would open by 2022 and employ 1,200 staff,” she said.  

“Today’s announcement simply highlights their longstanding failure to deliver on old election promises, stating the obvious that more health staff that will be required to operate SPIRE when and if Labor ever deliver it. 

“Labor’s record is clear. They always overpromise and underdeliver.”

ACT Labor has promised further election announcements regarding healthcare workers, infrastructure and services will be released in the coming week.

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