Media Release 20 October 2017 - New Govt - two months to Christmas
New Zealand Nurses Organisation (NZNO) acting Chief Executive Jane MacGeorge says nurses welcome the new government and are looking forward to a reversal of the 2017 ‘scrooge health budget’ and the $2B going back into health.
Jane MacGeorge today says health was the number one election issue and a clear ‘shout out’ to those standing to represent the public and run the country. NZNO is pleased with many of the Labour Party initiatives promised such as nurses in schools, more money for delivery of primary health care for mental health and reduced fees for doctor’s visits. The 48,000 strong membership have also clearly seen the negative effects of poor housing on the health of children.
“It is only six months until this government delivers its first budget and we are looking forward to a proper funding correction to the health budget after years of funding stagnation,” Jane MacGeorge said.
“The underfunding of our health services has led several DHBs to cut costs, resulting in fewer nurses being available to ensure safe staffing levels and practice and cut backs in expenditure on basic healthcare tools.
“Many nurses we have surveyed said they believe this cost-cutting is affecting the pace of recovery of their patients.
“Underfunding ripples across the system, for example, limiting the time nurses have to support new graduates, attract and retain senior staff, take up new training and has a negative impact on job satisfaction and workplace relations.
“Many DHBs now report no more savings are to be found. There is no more room to cut nurse staffing numbers to save more costs. As state sector employers DHBs know they can’t continue to run their staff ragged, and not take care of their staff well-being,” Jane MacGeorge said.
NZNO will present its briefing to the incoming minister in due course and also hand over to the new Minister of Health 6000 signed Shout Out for Health letters from members and the public shouting out for greater public investment in the health care.
Media enquiries: Karen Coltman 027 431 2617.