Urgent Action Needed Over Specialist Shortages
“Urgent action is needed over the increasing crisis caused by specialist shortages in public hospitals including in cancer treatment,” said Mr Ian Powell, Executive Director of the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists, today. Mr Powell was commenting on the report of increasing shortages of radiation oncology specialists.
“These shortages are serious but are not restricted to radiation oncology. Many specialties face actual and potential shortages. Unless something major is done the situation will worsen.”
“The solutions include ensuring that public hospitals receive adequate funding to provide the level and quality of care that patients need and deserve. Reports that there will be no additional funding in this year’s budget are alarming. If true it will make an already serious situation much worse.”
“Further, employment conditions for specialists need to be significantly improved so that New Zealand can compete against superior conditions overseas and where there are international shortages. This includes salaries, onerous hours, superannuation and annual leave.”
“Finally specialists need more time to focus on quality issues. These include professional development, peer review and clinical audit,” concluded Mr Powell.
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