Media release 1 April 2017
NZNO Southern Convention focus on tight DHB budgets causing stress all roundNZN O
On Monday 3 April the first of the NZNO Regional Conventions is being held. With the effects of inadequate healthcare funding now being acutely felt across the South Island.
Key convention topics are how to hold together under pressure and to bring to public and Government attention the personal cost of underfunding to nurses and all Southerners.
NZNO President Grant Brookes and Kaiwhakahaere Kerri Nuku are opening the convention and will launched an open letter to New Zealand voters asking them to put better public health funding first when they vote in the next government in 6 months.
“We are hearing that the pressure on the hospitals in all departments is high in the Southern region with Dunedin Hospital seeing no reprieve in the emergency department this summer season,” Grant Brookes said.
“It is a matter now of peeling back the layers of the health system to see how inadequate funding in primary health, Iwi and Māori providers and DHBs has a negative ripple effect at the hospitals where people are queuing up for help.
“Mental health, maternity, emergency departments, primary care and community nursing services and neonatal are all stretched down here and this is becoming a nationwide trend that can no longer be ignored,”
Mr Brookes said.
Kerri Nuku adds that many, many nurses here that are on part time agreements are doing more and more hours but that this really is not a sustainable way to look after the work force.
"Nurses in Iwi and Māori providers are also doing more and more hours and the same work as those within hospitals but lagging behind in their pay compared to their counterpart in hospitals.
"This is due to an underfunded health system and inequitable allocation of funding to Iwi and Māori providers which must be addressed.
“Southern delegates are saying that the levels of staff illness is higher than in previous years. But the numbers of people coming through with higher need is going up. This situation is causing stress for management, nurses and their colleagues, and of course patients.
“A key theme across the conventions is on maintaining good communication and addressing bullying because when the workforce is under stress this becomes a trickier work environment,” She said.