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Minister Disappointed at Strike Action

Hon David Cunliffe
Minister of Health

7 April 2008 Media Statement
Minister Disappointed at Strike Action

Minister of Health, David Cunliffe is surprised and disappointed at the decision by the country’s junior doctors to take strike action.

“While I am not a party to the negotiations I understand District Health Boards had not completed the bargaining process and talks have only been substantively underway since early December,” said Mr Cunliffe.

“I find it curious that strike action was announced same the day that junior doctors ballots were returned, rather then using this as a springboard for further discussions

“It is even more curious that the strike is scheduled to commence on the very day that these further negotiations had been scheduled.

“I fully understand that the District Health Boards would find themselves unable to negotiate with a “gun pointed at their patients heads” said Mr Cunliffe.

“There are issues that need to be dealt with to ensure a sustainable and strategic approach is taken to workforce development, for the good of the health system and the health of all New Zealanders”.

“I call on all parties to put the interests of the public first and engage in good faith bargaining without the unnecessary threat of an imminent strike.”

“However I believe short term tactics at the expense of the health consumer are not the best way to achieve a win-win outcome”.

“In the circumstances I will be asking District Health Boards to ensure there are plans in place to guarantee public safety” said the Minister of Health.


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