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Senior doctors endorse Michael Cullen's call

Friday 8 February 2008

"Senior doctors endorse Michael Cullen's call:

close salary gap with australia"

"Senior doctors endorse the call of Finance Minister Michael Cullen for New Zealand employers to increase salaries in order to close the widening gap with Australia," said Mr Ian Powell, Executive Director of the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists, today.

"An excellent starting point would be district health boards. New Zealand is losing at least one senior doctor a week to Australia where they can earn anywhere between 50% and 100% more. Australia is also recruiting the overseas trained doctors that New Zealand desperately needs because of the size of the salary gap."

"Michael Cullen has correctly identified that tax cuts will not fix the salary gap. He is absolutely right that the salary gap must be closed. The widening salary gap has led to a medical workforce crisis with doctor shortages affecting productivity."

"District health boards must heed Dr Cullen's call when our national collective agreement negotiations resume next week (11-12 February). These negotiations have been going on for over 19 months and it is time that health bosses listened to their Finance Minister as well as senior doctors."

"If the impasse in negotiations is not resolved next week national limited industrial action by senior doctors is almost certain following the overwhelming majority (88%) in favour of it in the ballot of senior doctors held late last year," concluded Mr Powell.

ENDS

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