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Un-edited statements from the health sector and beyond

Nine in 10 health workers feel understaffed

YesWeCare.nz/PSA Thursday 02 March 2017, 09:27AM

Media release from PSA

Nine out of 10 people working in health say they don’t have enough staff or resources, according to a new survey.

The YesWeCare.nz Survey of 6000 health workers found:

·                   90% say the health system doesn’t have the staff and resource required to give New Zealanders the healthcare they need when they need it.

·                   61% say New Zealanders access to health care over the last five years has decreased.

·                   72% say their workload and work pressures aren’t reasonable.

·                   84% say their workload and work pressures have increased over the last five years.

·                   90% say the Government’s current level of health funding is affecting New Zealanders’ access to healthcare.

·                   82% say the Government’s current level of health funding is affecting their workload and work pressure.

YesWeCare.nz is a new community - health workforce coalition for better health funding.

Emergency Nurse Nico Woodward says health underfunding is New Zealand’s biggest health risk.

“I get as frustrated and angry as patients and families with emergency department delays," he says. "Not being able to care for someone, when you know you could if you were staffed properly, is distressing.”

Mr Woodward says health funding hasn’t kept up with an ageing and growing population.

The Council of Trade Unions (CTU) estimates the government has underfunded health by more than $1.85 billion.

New Zealand Nurses Organisation (NZNO) Industrial Advisor Lesley Harry says underfunding is now affecting patient safety.

"Poor access to care, care-rationing, health-worker burnout and strained infrastructure are now common," she says. "The 2016 Budget made it clear that the Government was not properly assessing current or future funding needs."

Health underfunding roadshow

Mr Woodward has put his nursing career on hold to join YesWeCare.nz's national roadshow. 

The coalition is launching their campaign at 38 towns across the country to raise awareness about health underfunding.

The events will include local stories and 200 life size cut-outs of health workers missing due to underfunding.

The roadshow starts this Saturday 4 March in Bluff and finishes in Cape Reinga on Wednesday 29 March.


The YesWeCare.nz coalition includes 83,000 Kiwis working in health, their unions, ActionStation and the People's Mental Health Review.

Local health underfunding launches/roadshow

Local campaign launches provide a local media opportunity which will include:

·                   Strong visual of 200 life-size cut-outs of health workers missing due to underfunding. 

·                   Compelling local personal story about the impact of underfunding from a patient / service-user or person working in health or local spokesperson.

·                   Local results from our national health worker survey.

·                   Local underfunding figures and number of missing staff.

Town, date and time

The latest details are available at www.yeswecare.nz/roadshow/list


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