QNMU submission to Queensland Government 2023-24 State Budget

Published: March 2023
The Queensland Nurses and Midwives' Union (QNMU) provided a submission outlining key issues for consideration in advance of the 2023-24 Queensland Budget.

Our key recommendations were:

1. Workforce crisis
Address nursing and midwifery workforce shortages through the development of a comprehensive workforce plan for Queensland, including short, medium and long-term workforce goals and plans at the local and state level.
Provision of financial support via scholarships and fee relief arrangements by both the state and federal governments for nursing and midwifery courses, especially focusing on areas of critical shortage.
Fund a program for any existing employed Enrolled Nurses to complete a Registered Nurse qualification.
Create a special fund for Certificate and Enrolled Nursing courses to address the aged care shortages.
Extend the current Fee-Free TAFE Program for the Diploma of Nursing and Certificate III in Health Services Assistance to be open to all:

a. Australian or New Zealand citizen or Australian permanent resident or a temporary resident with the necessary visa and work permits on the pathway to permanent residency.
b. Queensland residents who are no longer at school or currently enrolled in training.

Fund, promote and expedite the conversion of casual and temporary positions to permanent employment.
Fast tracking and streamlining recruitment processes for Queensland Health.

2. Healthcare system reform
Establish an Innovation Fund to support the implementation and evaluation of value-based healthcare.

3. Ratios
Permanently expand and implement legislated minimum ratios in maternity, operating theatres, emergency and offender health across Queensland public sector services.
Improve compliance with the Business Planning Framework (BPF) in the public sector.

4. Role of nursing and midwifery in healthcare
Support growth of innovative nursing and midwifery models that will enhance the ongoing sustainability and safety of our public health system.
Evaluate the value and outcomes of changes adopted during the pandemic with the view that effective practices be retained as regular practice.
Fund a large-scale implementation study of a partnership continuity of midwifery care approach to reduce pre- term birth rates in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.
Provide ongoing funding and support for autonomous practice, such as Nurse Practitioner clinics and Midwifery Group Practice.
Facilitating urgent collaboration between the Federal and state governments to fund services across the care continuum to support continuity of care between the public and private sectors.
Remove the existing barriers that prevent nurses and midwives working to their full scope of practice by implementing the strategies and recommendations arising from the Nurses and Midwives Implementation Group (NaMIG) in collaboration with the QNMU.

5. Physical, psychological and cultural safety
Provide funding for a research project or taskforce review to identify the intersecting structural issues and interjurisdictional responsibilities which may be contributing to the increased violence and aggression in acute service settings.
Establish an innovation fund to support best practice design to prevent aggression and violence.
Fund necessary capital works to adjust the physical environment when design risks or models of care issues are identified.
Fund the extension and expansion of the successful Ambassador Program trials within QH so it can be rolled out in more settings where appropriate.

6. Gender pay equity
Adopting gender pay equity considerations in public sector bargaining processes.
Interventions that address unpaid childcare, such as employer or state funded provision of childcare or tax policies.
Investing in women-dominated industries and occupations.
Preferentially supporting women-owned and led businesses through subsidies, grants, and stimulus funding.
Investment in addressing the barriers to the full utilisation of the existing workforce, such as developing and implementing innovative and responsive models of rostering


Download the full QNMU 2023-24 State Budget Recommendations submission here