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Canterbury DHB needs at least an extra $35 million

Canterbury DHB needs at least an extra $35 million

New Zealand Nurses Organisation (NZNO) delegate and registered nurse Cheryl Hanham is calling on the Government to invest at least $35 million over what is expected for Canterbury DHB in Thursday’s Budget, just to maintain Christchurch’s health care services.

“I’ve wanted to be a nurse ever since I was a hospital patient at 11 years old, and I saw the skilled care they could give” she says.

“But now, we are always over 100 percent capacity, and working overtime because of short staffing. There are nurses who will go 12 hours without a toilet break just because they can’t bear to leave tiny babies without proper care. Sometimes there will be six babies and families per nurse and that’s far too much for one nurse. We’re like the rest of Christchurch; we are still suffering the effects of the earthquakes but we are being asked to come in to work constantly on our days off. I worry about patient safety all the time.”

“The nursing team has been doing more with less for years. It’s getting to the point that we’re really worried about our colleagues, our patients, our jobs and the level of health care available for Christchurch and Canterbury."

“We’re nurses. We want to provide high quality care for everyone who needs it and that’s what we’d prefer to be doing. But when the health system is underfunded by over a billion dollars– we have to speak up. New Zealanders need to know what’s actually going on.”

“If our health system was properly funded, nurses would be seen as the best resource instead of an expense. There simply needs to be more of us to keep the whole system going. What patients need are nurses, not tax cuts and budget cuts.”

“We think people in Canterbury want great healthcare they can access where and when they need it, too.”

Ends.

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