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Ryall needs to heed hospital workforce issues

Ryall needs to heed hospital workforce issues

The public health workforce, the same one Tony Ryall argues is making a lot of progress is facing increased pressure and staff burnout through his continued shuffling of the deckchairs, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says.

“Mr Ryall uses all manner of explanations in his repeated attempts to justify cutbacks to district health boards’ budgets and services.

“He talks about moving back office resources to the frontline, and of district health boards employing more doctors and nurses than ever before.

“Yet we have senior doctors saying that staff shortages and underfunding are putting hospitals under intense pressure and we now have a health system that is prone to erratic decision making and ‘ga-ga behaviour.’

“Mr Ryall’s response is to denigrate them and accuse them of being union members.

“Nurses too have told me they are working in unsafe, stressful conditions, and that workforce issues have become a top priority.

“With an 18 per cent increase in the number of older New Zealanders turning up at emergency departments over the past four years, high levels of medical vacancies at some hospitals, and fewer DHB midwives now than in 2008 at others, that is surely understandable.

“It’s time Mr Ryall stopped believing his own publicity and actually took heed of what the people at the coalface are saying.

“Will he take responsibility for patient safety if disasters occur through a lack of staffing and budgetary pressures, something he scoffs at now?”

Ends

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