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Pay radiotherapists, not airfares

Pay radiotherapists, not airfares


It is costing more to send women to Australia for radiotherapy treatment than it would to meet the wage increase that would keep departing radiation therapists in this country, the Green Party has pointed out.

"It is madness for the government to spend $1.65 million to send up to 110 New Zealanders to Australia," said Green Party Health spokesperson, Sue Kedgley, "while at the same time turning down a pay claim for about the same amount of money to increase the wages of radiation therapists to a level that would keep them in New Zealand."

Instead of casting around for band-aid solutions such as sending patients to Australia or increasing doses of radiation to unsafe levels, the government must address the underlying issue, said Ms Kedgley.

"The issue is that our radiation therapists are woefully underpaid compared to counterparts overseas."

Ms Kedgley said even in Australia radiation therapists have a starting salary of $50,000, compared to $32,000 here, and they are paid much higher salaries in Europe and the USA.

"The government has no choice other than to increase the pay of radiation therapists and it is time it accepted the inevitable and acted swiftly to avert a planned strike of radiation therapists next month."


ENDS

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