Tuesday, June 15, 2021
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HomePoliticalNZNO Sceptical Of Budget’s Impact On Health System Crisis

NZNO Sceptical Of Budget’s Impact On Health System Crisis


The New Zealand Nurses Organisation (NZNO) is sceptical
of the Budget’s effect for healing a health system in
crisis.

NZNO Kaiwhakahaere Kerri Nuku says there are
some positive initiatives but that the government’s recent
actions have shaken nurses’ faith in their ability to make
deeper, urgent change.

“As crucial determinants of
health, we are glad to see housing and welfare being
prioritised, especially the increase to the benefit.
Increased PHARMAC funding is welcome as well.

“It’s
also good to see Labour’s Tiriti commitment becoming a
reality with the Māori Health Authority. This is a
long-term project which, if rolled out with leadership from
Māori, particularly Māori nurses, will have an immense
impact for tangata whenua.

However, Ms Nuku says that
the actions of the Labour government have shown that the
investment figures mean little without a true commitment to
increasing pay and staffing levels for health workers and
equity for Māori nurses.

“COVID-19 was an
unprecedented challenge for nurses across all sectors and,
even out of lockdown, we are in crisis mode. If we are to
have a resilient health system that works for all, from DHBs
to primary care to the Māori Health Authority, we actually
need safe staffing levels and that means well paid health
workers.

“The Labour government lost many of our
members’ trust from the now partially backtracked pay
freeze. They’ve shown over and over to have had their
priorities wrong.

“We’re asking them to prove,
through concrete details, how its investment will benefit
the health system. That means first and foremost, how it
will improve the pay and conditions for our nurses,
midwives, health care assistants and kaimahi
hauora.

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