• Jason Regan

Battlelines drawn on Health as SA Opposition commits to more nurses

Labor has pledged to recruit 300 more nurses for South Australian hospitals if the party wins the March state election.

SA Opposition Leader Peter Malinauskas says a Labor government would support frontline nurses. (Morgan Sette/AAP PHOTOS)

The promise includes 212 extra staff to support the party's commitment to open 300 extra beds across the public health system. It also includes 12 specialist nurses for children's cancer and mental health care and 76 to target other priority needs to ensure safe staff ratios across the hospital network.


Labor has committed to enshrining nurse-patient ratios in law, in line with similar legislation in Victoria and Queensland. Opposition Leader Peter Malinauskas said a Labor government would support the state's overworked frontline nurses who had been hard hit by overwhelmed emergency departments and the COVID-19 pandemic.

"Nurses have always been the backbone of our health public system, and this has been particularly true during the pandemic," Mr Malinauskas said on Tuesday.
"We will provide job security for our nursing workforce and observe nurse-to-patient ratios which will provide safe and quality care for patients while lifting some of the huge workload from nurses and midwives."

Premier Steven Marshall said the government had massively increased the nursing and wider health workforce as well as invested in major hospital upgrades since coming to office.