NZNO Chief Executive Memo Musa says Director-General of Health Chai Chuah has made great contributions to the New Zealand Health system in a number of senior health management roles and as the director general of health when he oversaw the review of the New Zealand Health Strategy.
“Chai’s stewardship of the health system has been at times managed under extreme pressure but throughout these time we have had a good working relationship with him,” Memo Musa said.
“The health system has been under strain because of the previous government’s decisions to underfund it year after year. DHB chief executives are under huge pressure too and some resigned.
"They were constantly asked by the last government to cut costs, at the risk of patient and staff safety. This is clearly an unacceptable proposition and this stress has also strained professional relationships at the top level of management and across the health system.
“It is now important to quickly ensure stability of leadership at the Ministry of Health so the ambitious health programme the new Government has can be implemented,” he said.
“We applaud the direction of taking a really good look at the health service by setting up the advisory group however nurses must be included at this level of decision making. We will raise this issue with the Minister next week.
“The issues facing nurses and the nursing profession like safe staffing, new graduate employment, nurse workforce shortages and pay equity will require strategic foresight, courage and determination to resolve. NZNO looks forward to working with the new director general when they are appointed in February,” he said.