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Clinical Psychologists To Take Action

Clinical Psychologists To Take Action - No New Patients

“Wellington area residents face more health problems with around 60 Clinical Psychologists giving formal notice to the Capital Coast and Hutt Valley District Health Boards that they will take on no new patients as they step up industrial action over their catch-up with nurses and doctors,” said Nadine Marshall, Secretary of the National Union of Public Employees (NUPE) today. She was commenting ahead of a mediation on Tuesday which will provide a last chance to stop the action.

“The impact of this action will plainly be to increase the risk of self-harm to the patients who will go onto a waiting list. It also increases the risk of harm to the community in the Wellington region since these seriously mentally ill patients will be restricted to medication only for their treatment,” said Nadine Marshall.

“Clinical Psychologists are key players in the assessment and treatment of a variety of mental health issues. Clinical psychologists also provide reports for the Wellington area courts that assess risk of future offending and contribute to judicial decisions about mentally ill offenders,” said Nadine Marshall.

“The need for this industrial action is regretted but the Government was warned in February to stop the dispute growing to this point where patients and the Wellington community are put at risk. The Minister of Health Annette King has placed the Clinical Psychologists between a rock and a hard place by expecting the Boards to find the funds for the 30% catch-up required yet providing the Boards with minimal funding to pay salary rises in 2005,” said Nadine Marshall. “This also places Health Boards in an impossible position having to face down employees’ legitimate expectations for a catch-up while Annette King tries to wash her hands of the problem.”

“Clinical Psychologists who undertake six plus years of university study before qualifying to practice, have traditionally had salaries set between Doctors and Nurses, but is currently more than 30% below them,” said Nadine Marshall. “The Minister of Health needs to step in to stop any harm to patients and the community.”

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