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ADHB: Sack experienced staff for younger people

Hon Tony Ryall National Party Health Spokesman

1 March 2006

ADHB: Sack experienced staff for younger people

Experienced doctors and nurses at Auckland DHB may be replaced by younger people to save money, says National's Health spokesman, Tony Ryall.

In response to questioning from Mr Ryall at this morning's health select committee, Auckland DHB chairman Wayne Brown said the DHB would look to employ younger staff as a consequence of new collective pay agreements.

The board confirmed it had budgeted $8 million for redundancies in the 2005/06 financial year.

Before last year's election the board's CEO, Gary Smith, said there were no plans for staff cuts.

"Yet today, the board confirmed medical staff would be part of expected redundancies that still needed to be discussed with health unions," says Mr Ryall.

"The health system is truly in trouble when experienced doctors and nurses could be sacked and replaced by inexperienced, younger staff in order to save money.

"Patients actually like having experienced staff looking after them.

"Medicine is a profession where experience is vital. Knowledge and skills grow with time in the job. There is huge public investment in our experienced doctors and nurses. That investment shouldn't be wasted.

"The Government's centralised pay system has a lot to answer for if experienced staff are going to be made redundant because they are too experienced.

"Unfortunately, we understand other DHBs are looking at doing this too. This really is bureaucracy out of control," says Mr Ryall.

ENDS

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