5 July 2012:
The New Zealand Nurses Organisation (NZNO) is concerned about the findings of a University of Otago study that reports almost 20 per cent of women were likely to be deterred from accessing healthcare by money pressures.
NZNO associate professional services manager, Hilary Graham-Smith says “Everyone in Aotearoa should be able to access healthcare when they need it. It is extremely concerning to hear that the cost of healthcare means women are not getting the health care they need, when they need it.”
“This study shows that even in the 21st century women are still putting themselves last when there is not enough money to go around.”
“Kiwi children are four times more likely to be living under the poverty line if they are being raised by a single parent and with most single parent families headed by women, a lack of access to health care is a recipe for chronic illness and deprivation for women and children alike,” Ms Graham-Smith says.
“Not surprisingly, the longer people leave it before they get health care the more expensive that care is. Turning up at the hospital emergency room with heart disease due to rheumatic fever is many times more expensive than being treated early at a sore throat clinic.”
NZNO would like to see a health system where everyone has timely and affordable access to healthcare and we believe that nursing provides the key to a cost effective and efficient approach. There are long term social and economic benefits to be gained through ensuring equal access, and huge costs in continuing as we are.”