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Don’t Forget Health Professionals, Prime Minister

MONDAY 19 JANUARY 2004

Don’t Forget Health Professionals, Prime Minister

''The statement from the Prime Minister that the government is looking to increase the number of orthopaedic operations in public hospitals this year is great news but she should not forget the importance of also recognising the need to value, recruit and retain health professionals,'' said Mr Ian Powell, Executive Director of the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists, today.

“It is health professionals who, more than anyone else, make the health system work. But, in general, health professionals are not valued well enough by district health boards, despite their rhetoric to the contrary. Their terms and conditions of employment are seriously deficient in an international competitive market.”

“This year both senior doctors, in their national collective agreement negotiations, and nurses, in their pay equity campaign, will be working hard to ensure that their conditions of employment are fair and internationally competitive. It would be nice to think that the government and district health boards will be working with them rather than against them.”

“If district health boards and the government valued doctors, nurses and other health professionals as much as the public does, then I am confident that they would receive fair and internationally competitive employment conditions,” concluded Mr Powell.

Ian Powell
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

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