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NZNO supports senior doctors on strike today

New Zealand Nurses Organisation media release, 5 September 2023

The New Zealand Nurses Organisation Tōpūtanga Tapuhi Kaitiaki o Aotearoa (NZNO) supports the senior doctors and dentists on strike today for wage increases that reflect real rises in the cost of living.

NZNO President Anne Daniels said asking senior doctors and dentists to take a pay cut by not offering increases that match the CPI is both unfair and short-sighted.

“We are at a time when health professionals are leaving their jobs at unprecedented rates.

“The work is endless, the pressures are high and the prospect of burnout is very real. Refusing fair pay lifts is just going to exacerbate the problem, causing more doctors to leave or retire early.

“It’s hard enough right now to get an appointment with a doctor and this has already resulted in massive pressures on emergency departments, which affects us all. Te Whatu Ora’s penny-pinching on wages will just end up costing the health system more in terms of pressure on other workers and remaining resources.”

Ms Daniels said that, like nurses, senior doctors and dentists care about their patients and they are going on strike for the good of their profession’s future. Wages that properly recognise the qualifications and contributions of senior doctors in the public system – by at least matching the inflation rate – will help reduce the number leaving for overseas or private sector positions.

“NZNO calls on Te Whatu Ora to show more foresight. Asking senior doctors and dentists to take a pay cut will just further reduce the availability of health services to everyone in Aotearoa New Zealand.

“Our whānau, our loved ones and our communities need their doctors and dentists. Give them at least the cost of living so more will stay.”


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