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Doctors' Strike Government Problem

Media Release

21 April 2008

Doctors' Strike Government Problem

The junior doctors’ strike which starts tomorrow is a last resort by health professionals who feel that they are seriously overworked and undervalued, says New Zealand First health spokesperson Barbara Stewart.

“Both sides in this conflict are as far apart as they ever were.

“On one side we have striking health professionals who, as a last resort, can vote with their feet and take their skills elsewhere.

“On the other we have a health system represented by unelected officials whose main interest is the bottom line.

“As ever the meat in the sandwich are the patients whose surgery is deferred and others who may receive less than optimal treatment while the hospitals are in strike mode.

“The Minister of Health intervened to resolve the impasse with the senior doctors but unfortunately shows no inclination to do anything this time round.

“However this strike is taking place in the public health system, paid for by our taxes, and the Minister of Health, and behind him the Government, are directly responsible for the outcome.

“The time for denying accountability while the district health boards fight it out with their employees is past. New Zealanders are entitled to much better than this and it is the Minister of Health’s job to see that they get it,” said Mrs Stewart.


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