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Strike A Symptom Of Minister's Monopoly

Strike A Symptom Of Minister's Monopoly

Heather Roy Thursday, 15 June 2006 Press Releases - Health

While the junior doctors' strike is an operational matter between the doctors, their union and District Health Boards, the underlying problem is a monopoly employer, says ACT Health Spokesman, Heather Roy.

"The junior doctors' strike is a matter between employees and their employer - but there is nobody else to work for", Mrs Roy said.

"Last night Michael Cullen said he didn't have the money. His implication was clearly that the doctors are being greedy.

"Doctors are just expected to accept whatever government gives them. The 2.9% offered yesterday is more than DHBs have been given for salary increases in any year since Labour came to power.

"This means that any additional money must come out of other areas - like elective surgery.

"Junior doctors do work very long hours, and often get little in the way of sleep for long periods at a stretch.

"It is clearly unacceptable to have sleep-deprived doctors making life- and-death decisions.

"While 2000 doctors are on strike, more than 1200 bureaucrats are moving into a flash new building on The Terrace.

"It's not the bureaucracy that suffers during a strike, but those on waiting lists.

"ACT envisages a situation without a single monopoly employer, a contestable marketplace where doctors have a choice of who they work for.

"Doctors should have the ability to shop around for better pay and conditions - just like everyone else.

"That would be the only way to measure the true value of the service that our doctors provide", Mrs Roy said.

ENDS


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