South West Healthcare will welcome more nurses and midwives as patient to staff ratios are increased.
The announcement comes as the hospital has had no positive COVID-19 tests in the past nine weeks.
Amendments to the Safe Patient Care Act made on Tuesday by state government Health MInister Jenny Mikakos will see South West Healthcare's nurses and midwives EBA agreements reclassified from level three to level two to meet safer ratios during their shifts.
The current ratio sees South West Healthcare nurses and midwives taking care of five inpatients during the day and 10 overnight.
This will now be lowered to four inpatients during the day and eight overnight.
Chief executive Craig Fraser welcomed the news.
"As soon as these changes are through parliament, we will put changes in," he said.
We don't want to delay and we've been looking forward to this changeCraig Fraser
Mr Fraser said the number of additional nursing and midwifery roles to be introduced to South West Healthcare was difficult to define at present, but the hospital is working out which wards don't meet the new ratio.
"This is fantastic news, the entire organisation is looking forward to the positive changes to further support our nurses and midwives," Mr Fraser said
"Our staff are extremely invested in providing the best support for community because the live and socialise here.
"We have a mixture of staff who are from the region, have moved here for the role or have moved back.
"We have a big training program for our nurses and midwives and we do train an extensive range of staff who come from within our region which makes for a really positive vibe around entire workforce."
The amendments are part of Labor's 2018 state election promises and the government is investing more than $64 million over five years on the additional staff changes in addition to the $50 million Nursing and Midwifery Workforce Development Fund.
"Our nurses and midwives are heroes and now more than ever we thank them for the work they do every day caring for all Victorians," Ms Mikakos said.
"Nurses and midwives are there for us when we need them the most; that's why we're there for them. These changes will help them devote more time to each patient and deliver high quality care in a safer environment.
"We promised we would deliver 1,100 new nurses and we're doing just that. These changes will mean an extra 500 new nurses and midwives caring for patients in our public hospitals."
Member for South West Coast Roma Britnell clapped back at the announcement suggesting more work was needed for the hospital.
"This is a long awaited outcome for our hard working nurses and midwives who have been fighting for this change since 2001," she said.
"There was disappointment when the government introduced legislation to improve ratios at city hospitals in February last year, but left Warrnambool off the list, so this announcement it's not before time.
"While more nurses will be very much welcomed and are very much needed, they need appropriate facilitates to work in.
"The Andrews Government is continuing to ignore the need to redevelopment of the emergency department and operating theatres at the hospital. So while one long campaign comes to an end, another continues."
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