Media Release 7 July 2017
Canterbury DHB budget allocation short by over $17m this year
The thorough CTU Health Budget analysis out this week shows the raw facts of health underfunding that leaves Canterbury short by at least $17m this year alone.
NZNO President, Grant Brookes reports that the CTU assess the total Health Budget shortfall for this year to be $215m across New Zealand.
“NZNO assesses that to keep up with population need, Budget 2018 would need to inject a total of $2b more to deliver what New Zealanders and the health workforce need to be running safely and effectively,” Grant Brookes said.
“This lack of health spending, combined with the lack of investment in the workforce may really be the tipping point that triggers many in an aging nurse workforce to walk away from the profession.
“As a mental health nurse I am particularly concerned that the government has little vision for helping communities with their population’s mental health care need.
“Mental health nurses at Canterbury have told me they don’t have enough staff to cope with the extra 200 admissions they’re getting each month, compared to pre-earthquake levels, although the problem of short staffing also exists elsewhere, all across the DHB.
“There was no ‘mental health care funding boost’ as proclaimed by the government and the mental health services spend only increased by 1.2 per cent when actually need is up around 5 per cent. The government has actually cut mental health funding and disguised this,” Grant Brookes said.
NZNO’s open letter to voters, urging the public to put health first this election can be found: https://blog.nzno.org.nz/2017/04/03/an-open-letter-to-new-zealand-voters-we-need-your-help/ Members of the public can add their names in support of the letter as a comment at the bottom of the page.