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Doctors Welcome Increased Hospice Funding

“Senior Doctors Welcome Increased Hospice Funding; Positive For Recruitment And Retention”

“Senior doctors welcome the Labour-Progressive Government’s announcement of increased health spending for hospices,” said Mr Ian Powell, Executive Director of the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists, today. The Association represents senior doctors employed by hospices and negotiates their employment conditions and welcomes the extra $5.9 million the Government is providing nationally in 2005-06.

“It is pleasing that the government has listened to the concerns raised by hospices and health professionals about the effects of historic under-funding. It has responded with this positive step towards the recruitment and retention of quality health professionals”.

“This increased funding is badly needed. Hospices provide a critical and valuable service for terminally ill patients but for many years they have been operating on the smell of an oily rag. Overwhelmingly the care for these patients comes from senior doctors and other health professionals. Unfortunately under-funding has made it more difficult to recruit and retain them.”

“The funding increase should go a long way to overcome this serious problem to the benefit of hospice patients and their families. Hospices should now be better placed to offer reasonable employment conditions for their dedicated and hardworking staff and to recruit more of them.”

“One of the first benefits of this increased government funding is that we now hope to reach agreement with the hospices over a national hospice collective agreement for senior doctors that will provide fair and competitive conditions of employment in which the ultimate winners will be patients,” concluded Mr Powell.

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