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Healthcare Investment Must Deliver Safe Care

22 May 2008

Healthcare Investment Must Deliver Safe Care

The New Zealand Nurses Organisation welcomes today’s Budget announcement of additional funding streams for the health sector.

As well as an extra $750 million per annum going to DHBs to enhance the delivery of health services, the Government has included:

$10.4 million to develop Pacific health providers and their workforce;
$12 million for Maori health workforce development;
On-going funding to deliver Nursing Entry to Practice programmes for new-graduate nurses.

The funding will be used to support training and development for these key groups in our healthcare workforce.

But it is disappointing that no additional funding in today’s announcement is specifically tagged for wage increases for Aged Care workers who are concentrated in the lowest paid part of the health sector

NZNO calls on District Health Boards to ensure clauses are placed in their funding contracts with non-Government and private providers in the Aged Care sector, to ensure additional funding gets passed on to workers.

Acting NZNO CEO Cee Payne says that setting wage requirements is the best mechanism for delivering accountability in the sector. “Taxpayers need to know their money is being used to deliver quality health services for our communities, not just creamed off by overseas owners as profit.”

Cee Payne says NZNO is also calling for Maori and Iwi Primary Health Care providers to be funded adequately so they can offer their workers pay parity with DHB health professionals. “Our members have been in collective bargaining with their employers and have built an excellent relationship. The employers want to deliver pay parity – only the current funding levels block this from happening.”

“NZNO knows the Labour-led Government is committed to quality public healthcare Our members need to be assured that additional funding will be used appropriately to ensure we have the right nursing staff in the right place at the right time. Only then can they feel confident about delivering the quality care New Zealanders deserve,” says Cee Payne.

ENDS

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