Ratios passed, Liberals turn their backs

ANMF urges upper house to pass ratios bill unamended

ANMF (Victorian Branch) is petitioning all Victorian upper house Liberals, Nationals, Greens and crossbenchers to pass the Safe Patient Care Act Amendment Bill unamended amid last minute calls for changes which would jeopardise the legislation.

The Bill was introduced into the lower house on 21 August and passed on 6 September. It is expected to reach the upper house next week, where it will require the support of minority parties to pass.

Health Minister Jill Hennessy, noting the Opposition members who turned their backs to her, said that the improvements would generate an extra 600 public sector nursing and midwifery jobs.

The Australian College of Midwives want to amend the legislation in relation to single registration midwives working in special care nurseries without the presence of a nurse (section 27).

Already, the Safe Patient Care Act allows provisions for this through local agreements with health services.

The Branch supports midwives to work within their full scope of practice and has negotiated at least 40 local agreements which include supporting direct entry midwifery members to work in special care nurseries.

With only three sitting days left in which the government’s Bills can be debated and passed before caretaker mode, it's vital the Bill is passed unamended. Amendments would re-start the process and force the Bill to return to the lower house, which sits one day less than the upper house next week.

Due to the scheduling of the sitting calendar, this would leave only one possible day for the upper house to pass the legislation in addition to 27 other pending Bills, making the legislation unlikely to pass.

Members are asked to sign the petition urging all upper house members to pass the Bill unamended and share the petition with their family and friends.

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