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Health System Not Deteriorating

ATTENTION: HEALTH REPORTER


MEDIA STATEMENT FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE,
MONDAY 5 SEPTEMBER 2005

“Health System Not Deteriorating”

“Contrary to the result of a misleading and ambiguous poll, overall the health system is not deteriorating,” said Mr Ian Powell, Executive Director of the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists, today. Mr Powell was responding to the report of the AC Neilsen health poll.

“Doctors, nurses and other health professionals are highly dedicated people who provide high quality care. The overwhelming feed-back, including in many polls, is that patients and the public greatly value the care which they provide.”

“The health system has never been better funded than it is at the moment and there is now a greater appreciation of the importance of strengthening public hospital capacity to provide services for patients.”

“Instead our real problems are due to serious workforce shortages of both nurses and doctors, the most common cause of delayed access to services. These real problems are partly caused by strong international competition and partly due to the abysmal neglect of workforce planning and fragmentation of collective employment agreements in the 1990s. It has only been in recent times that the health system has been encouraged to plan how best to overcome these shortages.”

“We hope that the achievement of national collective employment agreements for doctors and nurses will also help address these shortages.”

“There is no shortage of challenges and frustrations in the health system. Overall it is improving but not at the rate that we would want,” concluded Mr Powell.

Ian Powell

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

ENDS

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