Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


Govt neglect leaves nursing in sick state

Govt neglect leaves nursing in sick state

Nursing students have a grim prognosis in New Zealand and face a lifetime of debt, low pay and serious staff shortages in the workplace, Green MPs Nandor Tanczos and Sue Kedgley said today.

Nandor, the Green Tertiary Education spokesperson and Sue Kedgley, the Green Health spokesperson, said a report today by the New Zealand Nurses Organisation showed the health system was in a perilous state.

"The Government could have addressed the serious nursing shortages by making the profession more attractive through lower fees and better conditions. However, the Government has done the complete opposite," said Nandor.

"The pool of graduates has drained from 1410 in 1997 to 1154 in 2002 and too many of them head overseas to escape being saddled with student debt because the crucial work they do is underpaid.

"We all know the answer. Even national has plagiarised the idea: Write off student debt for those who commit to working in New Zealand, cap tuition fees at $1500 and reintroduce the universal student allowance - all cornerstones of Green Tertiary policy," said Nandor.

Sue Kedgley said the fact that the median nurses pay of $31,839 (2001 Census) was less than $2000 more than the starting salary of most nurses was damning evidence of the Government's failure to improve working conditions of the nursing profession.

"The Government's pay equity taskforce must urgently address the pay level of the predominantly female nursing workforce because women take twice as long as men to pay back their student debt," said Ms Kedgley.

"There is no coincidence that 60 per cent of the report's respondents consider heading overseas to work because they're overworked and underpaid in an industry that is already 1000 nurses short."

Ms Kedgley warned that the health sector would face serious strife if the report's findings were not acted on.

"Despite worthy platitudes, the government has not addressed the issue of serious nursing shortages. This has serious consequences for the health of a large number of New Zealanders who have had operations cancelled because of ongoing nursing shortages.

"There is no coincidence that 60 per cent of the report's respondents consider heading overseas to work because they're overworked and underpaid in an industry that is already 1000 nurses short."

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines


Ruataniwha: DOC, Hawke's Bay Council Developer Take Supreme Court Appeal

The Department of Conservation and Hawke's Bay Regional Investment Company (HBRIC) are appealing to the Supreme Court over a conservation land swap which the Court of Appeal halted. More>>


With NZ's Marama Davidson: Women’s Flotilla Leaves Sicily – Heading For Gaza

Women representing 13 countries spanning five continents began their journey yesterday on Zaytouna-Oliva to the shores of Gaza, which has been under blockade since 2007. On board are a Nobel Peace Laureate, three parliamentarians, a decorated US diplomat, journalists, an Olympic athlete, and a physician. A list of the women with their background can be found here. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Key Style Of Crisis Management

At Monday’s post Cabinet press conference Key was in his finest wide- eyed “Problem? What problem?” mode. No, there wasn’t really a problem that top MPI officials had been at odds with each other over the meaning of the fisheries policy and how that policy should be pursued... More>>


Mt Roskill: Greens Will Not Stand In Likely Post-Goff By-Election

“The Green Party’s priority is changing the Government in 2017, and as part of that we’ve decided that we won’t stand a candidate in the probable Mt Roskill by-election... This decision shows the Memorandum of Understanding between Labour and the Green Party is working." More>>


Wellington: Predator Free Capital Plan

Wellington City Council (WCC), the Greater Wellington Regional Council (GWRC) and NEXT Foundation, today announced a joint collaboration to make Wellington the first Predator Free capital city in the world. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Judith Collins’ Efforts At Self Correction

Thousands of prisoners currently in prison may be entitled to an earlier release than expected – and compensation – because Corrections has incorrectly calculated their term of imprisonment. Unless of course, the government buries its mistakes by changing the law and retro-actively getting itself off the hook… More>>


More Justice & Corrections

Sector Opposes Bill: Local Government Bill Timeframe Extended

The Minister of Local Government Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga has asked the Select Committee to extend the report back date for the Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Bill (No 2). More>>


Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news