Media Releases

Government can do it when they want to

26 May 2016

Nurses around the country have realised that when the Government wants to prioritise health, it can. It was announced that 72 million over four years will be spent to meet the higher than expected need for free GP visits for under 13 year olds.

NZNO president Grant Brookes says, “The Budget did not deliver nearly enough funding for health, even though the Government can do it when it suits. That’s why it’s even more disappointing to see once again that most DHBs are not being funded to meet the health care needs of their communities.”

“The devil is always in the detail, and while $10.85 million over 4 years for health workforce training and development sounds great, in fact it means we will not see every new graduate nurse properly supported into the workforce by 2018. That’s a failure of will.”

“An extra $96 million over four years to increase elective surgery is welcomed. But we need to see this going into supporting employment of Nurse Practitioners to undertake first specialist assessments. We would also like to see equitable access to elective surgery across the regions and an effective formula developed to see this happen. This extra funding will not help those who don’t even make it onto a waiting list.”

“Bowel screening is another area where we were hoping for stronger leadership and action. People are not getting the health care they need when they need it. A faster roll-out of screening and funding for workforce training is essential and needs to happen now,” Brookes says.

“What is happening now, and we are very pleased to see it, is $18 million over two years to extend the Warm Up New Zealand programme to insulate rental houses occupied by low-income tenants. This will benefit many families and reduce the pressure on hospitals.”

“Overall, the Budget gives us hope that the Government can do the right thing. What we need to work on now is helping it understand what the right thing is.”

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