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Counties Manukau DHB To Help Out Starship

Counties Manukau District Health Board To Help Out Starship

Health Minister Annette King has approached Counties Manukau District Health Board to help Starship Children's Hospital overcome problems it is experiencing with non-urgent elective surgery for children.

Mrs King said she spoke to Counties Manukau DHB chief executive Dave Clarke this morning, and he was confident that Counties Manukau could help Starship by providing facilities for grommet operations to be carried out at super clinics in South Auckland. Mr Clarke also said that some assistance could be given with ICU, and he was having discussions in this respect with the general manager of Starship.

"I think this sort of regional cooperation is absolutely excellent. This sort of cooperation between boards should be the first resort when one board is experiencing a problem," Mrs King said.

"I know there are nursing shortages in Auckland. In fact, there are nursing shortages nationally and globally.

"We are all fishing in the same global pool. Recruiting nurses overseas can sometimes help on a short-term basis, but long-term we have to train our own nurses.

"We haven't had any workforce planning in this country for 10 years. That has been a disgrace but we are now putting it right, with the Health Workforce Advisory Committee devising national workforce strategies. It will take time to build the workforce we need, but at least we have made a start."

Mrs King said that since the Labour-Alliance Government came to power, the total health workforce had increased by 8.7 percent. Since November 1999, an extra 1366 nurses had been employed – an increase of 8 percent. In the final year of the last National government, nursing numbers 'grew' by 0 percent.

Ends

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