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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