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Affirmation of Health System Welcomed

1 May 2006

Affirmation of Health System Welcomed, but Further Investment in Workforce Needed

"Health Minister Pete Hodgson's address on the health system today shows a sound and confident understanding of the health system," said New Zealand Nurses Organisation CEO Geoff Annals.

"It is encouraging to hear his clear rejection of the myths that the system is a bottomless pit for investment and in crisis," said Geoff Annals.

"The fact is our health system performs better overall for less than most, and with common sense and continuing engagement with nurses, doctors and communities it will continue to do even better."

Geoff Annals said the greatest threat to further improvement is that a false sense of crisis could lead to damaging and costly overhaul.

"It is a relief to see Pete Hodgson is firmly grounded in the reality that the system is fundamentally very sound," he said.

Geoff Annals said NZNO looked forward to engaging with the Health Minister on further steps to secure a sustainable nursing workforce into the future.

"Significant investment is needed to address pay issues in the nursing workforce in primary health care, hospices and aged care," he said.

"This will build on the historic and essential investment made by the Government last year in fair pay for nurses and midwives working in our public hospitals.

Geoff Annals said NZNO also looked forward to engagement with the Government and DHBs to implement the recommendations of the NZNO/DHBs Safe Staffing and Healthy Workplaces Committee of Inquiry.

ENDS

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