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World Health Organisation Raises Work Force Issues

28 May 2008

World Health Organisation Raises Work Force Issues

The World Health Organisation report specifying action necessary to avoid a major shortage of health workers by 2011 is a timely reminder to the Government that industrial action in the health sector must be taken extremely seriously, says New Zealand First health spokesperson Barbara Stewart.

“There are no surprises in the recommendations that we improve salaries and conditions for doctors, lure back ex-pats and urgently train more medical students.

“Two of the major problems in the health sector at this time - the junior doctors’ continuing industrial action and the increasingly costly use of locums – are directly linked to these recommendations.

“Whatever the rights and wrongs of the industrial action, the Health Minister’s continued hands off approach is doing absolutely nothing to help resolve it.

“Blaming the impasse on their union is a classic example of shooting the messenger.

“We shouldn’t need a wake-up call from the World Health Organisation but now that we have one we need to see some corresponding action from the Minister and the Government to ensure that the situation doesn’t deteriorate any further,” said Mrs Stewart.

ENDS

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