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NZNO national bus tour to highlight health budget needs

New Zealand Nurses Organisation Tōpūtanga Tapuhi Kaitiaki o Aotearoa (NZNO) will hit the road for 11 days this month to raise awareness of the health crisis facing Aotearoa New Zealand.

NZNO President Anne Daniels says the organisation was calling on the Government to increase health funding and implement culturally appropriate nurse-to-patient and midwife-to-patient ratios in all health care settings.

"From 10-20 June we will take this message to different communities in Aotearoa on the Ratio Justice Bus Tour.

"We can't solve the understaffing crisis unless the Coalition Government puts more money into health. However, in Budget 2024 the bulk of health funding that was announced was committed to meeting cost pressure funding. This means there is limited funding for new initiatives in health and nothing concrete announced for nurses, midwives and health care assistants."

Ms Daniels and other senior NZNO members will visit towns and cities throughout the country to relay the health risks people and their whānau face if ratios are not mandated soon.

More nurses are desperately needed and having culturally appropriate ratios is the best way to ensure the best and most efficient health service for all New Zealanders, she said.

"Most states in Australia as well as Ireland and Wales, and California in the US and British Columbia in Canada, now have fixed nurse-to-patient ratios to improve the quality of health care. Many developing countries are also implementing the system.

"Since being introduced in Australia nearly 10 years ago they’ve resulted in fewer readmissions and shorter hospital stays, resulting in better patient outcomes and tens of millions being saved in the health budget."

Over the 11 days, three buses will simultaneously travel down the North and South islands with events organised in towns and cities to coincide with the arrival of the buses. The towns include Whangārei, Kawakawa, Kerikeri, Kaitāia, Kaikohe, Hamilton, Tauranga, Rotorua, Whakatāne, Gisborne, Napier, Hastings, Waipukurau, Palmerston North, New Plymouth, Hāwera, Whanganui, Levin, Nelson, Blenheim, Kaikōura, Christchurch, Dunedin, Balclutha, Gore, Invercargill, and Queenstown.

The tour starts in Nelson (South) and Whangārei (North) on 10 June and ends in Queenstown and Gisborne on 20 June.

Direct Media Enquiries To:

Please send all media requests in writing to media@nzno.org.nz.

NZNO communications and media advisors are:

Karen Howarth
karen.howarth@nzno.org.nz
027 725 2680  |  04 494 8242

Samesh Mohanlall
samesh.mohanlall@nzno.org.nz
021 240 3420  |  04 494 6839

Support and member enquiries: 0800 28 38 48 or nurses@nzno.org.nz