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Minister Says Patient Welfare Must Come First

30 November 2001

Health Minister Says Patient Welfare Must Come First

Health Minister Annette King says she is deeply concerned that the welfare of patients should be the primary consideration during planned industrial action in Canterbury.

“Matters relating to employment agreements must be worked out between District Health Boards and their staff within the resources each board has available,” Mrs King said today.

“The people of New Zealand voted for a system of DHBs so they could have a local say in the way health boards spent their money.

“It is not appropriate for me to interfere in local decision-making, but I am urging both the DHB and staff to look at longer-term solutions to problems that nurses acknowledge have emerged over the last 10 years.

“Patient safety must be of paramount concern. I recognise that unions have shown some flexibility regarding exemptions to the strike and I thank them for that.

“However, I am also conscious of ongoing concerns that the Canterbury DHB management and the Ministry of Health still have on this issue and I call upon the unions involved to remain in close discussions with the DHB to ensure all patient safety issues are addressed.”


Ends

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