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Budget must support health says nurses union

Budget must support health says nurses union

The New Zealand Nurses Organisation (NZNO) warns that unless the Government increases health spending in the 2010 Budget by at least $600 million, New Zealanders can expect wide ranging cuts to health services.

“Our spending on health is far from extravagant when compared with other developed countries. If the Government believes that all New Zealanders should be able to live healthy lives and have access to good and effective healthcare when they are unwell, they need to fund the health system at a sustainable level,” CEO Geoff Annals said today.

“The funding that the Government has so far indicated will be in the budget would mean real cuts to real services that would impact hard on real people. If funding is constrained more than it is already, we are likely to see full-blown cost cutting and short term crisis management with long term sustainability of the health system sacrificed for immediate survival as a result.

“Unless we maintain sufficient funding for health to maintain current levels of service while also funding new ways of keeping people well and of treating people more cost effectively, we risk losing any hope at all of investing in a sustainable and innovative health system.

“The nursing workforce is large and diverse with registered nurses, care givers, enrolled nurses and nurse practitioners offering a very wide range of skills. Long term quality and cost effectiveness in the health sector can only happen if the nursing workforce is supported to develop its practice to the full extent appropriate.

“This budget must maintain current services while also building a commitment to long term sustainability. This requires at least $600 million more for health in this budget.” Geoff Annals said.


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