Media Releases

Nurses back the Resident Doctors Association on safer staffing

31 August 2016

The New Zealand Nurses Organisation (NZNO) is supporting the New Zealand Resident Doctors Association (NZRDA) in their industrial dispute with District Health Boards (DHBs) over short staffing, long hours, and burnout.

“The reports by doctors of falling asleep at the wheel, making medical errors, and working unsafe hours should be taken extremely seriously by DHBs. From both an employment point of view and from a clinical point of view, this is a major red-flag safety alert for doctors and their patients” said Lesley Harry, NZNO Industrial Adviser for the DHB sector.
“Nurses can testify that what doctors are saying about short staffing and burnout is a fact. Our members in hospitals are increasingly reporting situations where staffing levels and working hours do not meet the best and safest standard of care that patients should expect. As health care professionals, doctors' and nurses’ first priority is meeting the needs of every patient that walks through the hospital door. We don’t want to see our best doctors and nurses leaving New Zealand because they are simply too exhausted to give the high quality healthcare they trained for.”
“Anyone who constantly works 10 hours a night, 7 nights a week is going to be foggy and not at the top of their game. I think the public doesn’t want to have that person treating their loved ones in a life or death situation. If the solution is safer working hours and more hospital staff, the District Health Boards have to meet those needs. Our communities deserve the very best health care. We support the NZRDA putting patient safety first.”

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