Media Release 17 May 2018
No windfall but boost and direction welcome
Chief Executive Memo Musa says today’s government Budget shows commitment to a decent increase in health spending for the first time in a long time but there is still a way to go to make up for 10 years’ of neglect. He says there is an increase in health spending of over $800 million and this is what was needed to keep going and a little more.
“The immediate operational spend is not greatly increased but this budget shows a roadmap to rebuilding the health service from the foundations up, literally,” Memo Musa said.
“The four year commitment to increase health spending significantly is most welcome and this was vital to be started now in order to retain the confidence of the nursing, midwife and health care assistant workforce.
“To see a separate fund of $100 million now for relief of the DHB deficit along with the $750 million for long term infrastructure needs, we hope will give the DHB management some room to spend on increasing the nursing workforce.
“We welcome the focus on primary health care funding and increase in spending through the expansion of the nurses in schools programme, now accessible to another 240,000 students at decile 4 schools, is excellent as is the pilot programme of counselling for 18 to 25 year olds who need to access it.
“New operating funding for lead maternity carer midwives to survive financially and match the district heath board midwives pay is an excellent acknowledgement of the value of midwives and also for rural lead maternity carers.”
President Grant Brookes:
“The focus on child poverty, warm housing and housing affordability, combined with the overhaul of the welfare system is most welcome along with the focus on increasing access to government support entitlements.
“Nurses at the front line know that it is the results of poverty, poor housing and increased health need that brings extra pressure to the hospitals and clinics. Seeing the Budget social sector focus means relief could come sooner for nurses,” Grant Brookes said.
Kaiwhakahaere Kerri Nuku:
“National Māori Health services that are for services for or by Māori has increased by over four million dollars and this is most welcome.
“The Healthy Homes Guarantee and the Warmer Homes programme are excellent initiatives to protect vulnerable families and to address respiratory illness, particularly seen in children,” she said.
Media enquiries: Karen Coltman 027 431 2617.