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Health Staff Numbers A Mystery

18 October 2004

Health Staff Numbers A Mystery

New Zealand First’s health spokesperson Barbara Stewart says that no one in the Ministry of Health appears to actually know how many people are on the health payroll at any one time.

“A parliamentary question to the Minister brought the response that as at 31 March this year there were 1,060 people employed in the Ministry of Health and its associated business units, a sizeable increase from 481 in 2000.

“However staff numbers at individual DHBs have to be obtained from the separate boards. Either no one at the Ministry keeps tabs on them or they are not telling. Neither did they know how many staff were employed outside the Ministry in setting up PHO administration - the latest layer of bureaucracy,” said Mrs Stewart.

“In these days of computerised records such lack of information regarding employee numbers is astonishing.

“One explanation for such apparent ignorance could be that disclosure of the numbers employed in the health bureaucracies, and their salaries, compared to the number of people, such as nurses actually providing medical care, would cause public outrage.

“If the numbers employed in administration in the DHBs have mushroomed as dramatically as they have in the Ministry over the last five years it’s little wonder no-one is owning up to having the figures,” said Mrs Stewart.


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