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It takes a team to make a health workforce!


It takes a team to make a health workforce!

Physiotherapists remind the National Party and the government that doctors, nurses and midwives cannot work alone, although obviously they form a very important part of the health workforce.

“To treat patients, in hospital or the community, you need a team,” says President of the New Zealand Society of Physiotherapists Jonathan Warren. “The fact is that between 13% and 50% of the DHB physiotherapy positions advertised by DHBs around the country cannot be filled. There’s a major shortage of physiotherapists. Yet physios and other allied health professionals are essential – for instance, to discharge patients safely from hospital after operations, injuries and illnesses. And to keep people well in the community, physios and other allied health professionals are needed.”

Mr Warren was commenting on both National’s plans to encourage doctors, nurses and midwives to stay in hard-to-staff areas by a bonding plan, and the government’s response. “The politicians talk as if tackling the shortage of doctors, nurses and midwives is the same as solving the health workforce crisis,” said Mr Warren. “It’s not!”

The New Zealand Society of Physiotherapists encourages politicians to follow strategies aimed at recruiting and retaining multidisciplinary health teams, as already identified in the New Zealand Primary Health Care Strategy.


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