HEALTH Minister Michelle O'Byrne said yesterday she would like to see more evidence before mandating hospital staffing levels.
Ms O'Byrne was responding to the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation's argument that there were not enough grade4 nurses in Tasmanian hospitals.
Nurses at all major hospitals are taking industrial action over wage negotiations, claiming meal breaks, overtime and other entitlements.
ANMF state secretary Neroli Ellis said they had agreed to a 2per cent pay rise, but the state government had not addressed a decline in the more experienced grade4 nurses.
Ms O'Byrne said the ANMF wanted nurse positions mandated, but hospitals needed flexibility.
"I would like to see some evidence on mandating before we went down that pathway, and that's a longer debate to have," Ms O'Byrne said.
"I don't make any decisions about whatever levels should be done, they are made from a clinical perspective, and hospitals that are involved in the negotiations tell me they think they've got the mix right."