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Minister says Junior Doctors Union scaremongering

Hon David Cunliffe
Minister of Health

10 July 2008 Media Statement

Minister says Junior Doctors Union scaremongering

The Minister of Health David Cunliffe says claims by Dr Deborah Powell of the Resident Doctors Association that hospitals in the Auckland region face a Junior Doctor shortage are nothing more then” blatant mischief making.”

“This is a deliberate attempt to use Hospital rostering fluctuations as a weapon in the RDA’s campaign to ramp up an unrealistic pay demand that is well above any other in the Health sector.”

“The region’s District Health Boards have made it unequivocally clear that the Resident Doctors Association are using fluctuations in the rosters to support their claims. Those same DHBS say managing services with fluctuating staff numbers is just normal for Hospitals,” said Mr Cunliffe.

“Dr Johan Rosman , the Chief Medical Officer for the Waitemata District Health Board has said that Powell’s claim that his Board is “in a shambles “is unfair . Dr Rosman has also assured the public that no patients are at risk.”

“The Auckland DHB has said that the fluctuations are not unusual and will be managed as usual practice It is also important to note that the 30 vacancies that the union is concerned about are less then eight per cent of the Junior Doctor workforce at the Auckland Board’s hospitals.”

“What is clear is that the RDA continues to press its wage demands that would mean pay increases well in excess of other Health workers and they continue to back their claims with the threat of strikes and statements which do not stand scrutiny.”

“In view of the need to provide Junior Doctors with an early settlement ,as well as respecting the findings of the Health and Disability Commissioner on strikes ,I urge the RDA to signal their willingness to participate in the Workforce Commission.“


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