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Surgery Cancellations – Dioxin – Unemployment Falls – Otago Research – Otago Rugby

SURGERY CANCELLATIONS: Kids are feeling the strain as Starship Children’s Hospital cancels non-urgent surgery. A nursing shortage, blamed on winter illnesses, is forcing the cancellations. 13 nurses are being wiped off Starship’s roster every day, due to illness. Nurses, who say they are suffering low morale, have welcomed the decision to cancel non-urgent surgery. Offers of help from hospitals around Auckland are easing the strain for Starship. There is a nursing shortage in the profession worldwide, but it is especially acute in New Zealand, as our graduates head overseas. Money and job stress are major factors. A new graduate in New Zealand can expect a salary of about $30,000, rising to $40,000 with a few years service. New Zealand hospitals can’t compete with overseas pay.

DIOXIN: Health Chiefs in Taranaki have failed to detect any increase in cancer rates in areas said to be polluted by dioxins.

UNEMPLOYMENT FALLS: New Zealand’s unemployment rate has fallen to its lowest level in 11 years – 5.2 percent.

OTAGO RESEARCH: Otago University is going into business with big investors to do research on new cancer fighting drugs. It’s a way of keeping our best research brains in New Zealand, make money for the university and make medical breakthroughs. Pacific Edge has already hired four kiwis currently working overseas and two American researchers.

DUNEDIN RUGBY: Dunedin is starting to buzz as it builds up to tomorrow’s NPC clash and Saturday’s Tri-Nations clash with Australia.

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