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Friday, 28 November 1986
Page: 4025

(Question No. 3965)


Mr Wright asked the Minister for Health, upon notice, on 8 May 1986:

(1) What is the federal Government's policy on the training of nurses in colleges of advanced education and institutes of technology rather than through hospital based education programs.

(2) What federal funding has been made available to Queensland for nurse education in each year since 1975-76.

(3) How many student nurses are presently involved in institute or CAE training programs in Queensland and what part has the federal Government played in this transition from hospital based education courses.


Dr Blewett —The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(1) The Government strongly supports the States' initiatives to transfer basic nurse education from hospitals to the advanced education sector and has offered financial assistance to the States to help achieve the transfer by 1994. Specifically, the Government announced in the recent Budget that it would provide $7.7 million in 1986-87 to the States and the Territories for this purpose. As part of the Commonwealth's commitment, eligibility for student allowances has been extended to students undertaking nursing courses in colleges of advanced education.

The transfer is either well underway or planned for commencement by 1988 in all States and Territories with the exception of Queensland. agreements formalising the transfer arrangements have already been signed with South Australia, Victoria and Western Australia.

The Commonwealth expects that significant benefits will result from the transfer, including a more flexible nursing workforce, wider employment opportunities and enhanced status for nurses and increased education and vocation opportunities especially for women.

(2) and (3) The Queensland Government's refusal of the Commonwealth's offer to assist in the transfer is particularly disappointing given the response from other States and the Territories, and the rapid progress being made in implementation of the transfer. In 1986, the second year of the transfer program Commonwealth assistance is available in respect of up to 2700 basic nurse education places in colleges of advanced education.

New South Wales...1270

Victoria...725

Queensland...-

South Australia...166

Western Australia...450

Tasmania...due to commence in 1988

Northern Territory...due to commence in 1987

Australian Capital Territory...62

In addition, 1300 places are available in colleges as part of a fully Commonwealth-funded pilot program in basic nurse education. These include 142 students enrolled in 1986 in the Queensland Institute of Technology's basic nurse education course. Details of funding in respect of these courses are not available as Commonwealth tertiary education grants are made available on the basis of a lump sum for each institution, with the allocation of grants for particular courses being a matter for the institutions themselves.