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Too stretched to train more specialist nurses

1 November 2016


Too stretched to train more specialist nurses

Gaining more specialist nurses in public hospital eye clinics is crucial to clearing the backlog of southern patients waiting for appointments and to saving eyesight. Southern nurses are reporting they don’t have the capacity to train new staff while they are stretched to the limit with current demands. NZNO has alerted DHB management about this issue for two years.

NZNO Industrial Adviser Lesley Harry says NZNO members from Canterbury and Southern DHB are saying they have raised this issue and while some improvements have been made to cope, there is fundamentally not enough money going into eye services.

“Clearly there are not enough specialist nurses to assist the clinical specialists. It’s all very well to say we need more but evidently there is just no budget for it. If this is the tip of the iceberg, it is frightening to think that more people will lose their eyesight because they just had to wait too long be treated by our public health service,” Lesley Harry said.

“Southern and Canterbury have been grappling and struggling with this problem and sadly to the shame of the health funders, eyesight is being lost in the meantime. Nurses have been advocating for patients to get faster treatment for nearly two years.

“The Government must wake up to what the aging population and rising number of people presenting with diabetes means for funding of specialist services.

“Making clinicians march to the beat of a drum that is out of step with reality on the ground is costing New Zealanders their much cherished sight,” she said.

ends

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