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Government Solely Responsible For Nurses Strikes

03 December 2001

Labour-Alliance Government Solely Responsible For Nurses Strike

“It is a bit rich for Health Minister Annette King to talk about ‘a commitment to quality throughout the public health system’ when her Government failed to address growing funding problems in last year’s budget, choosing instead to leave a major cash injection to election year,” Party Leader Graham Capill said today.

“This cheap political stunt has cost the Canterbury Health Board a million dollars to cover contingencies during the nurses strike; a strike which both nurses and the Board acknowledge cannot be resolved without the Government giving more money to the debt-riddled health system. The cost of the strike has simply wasted valuable resources.

“The Government must bear the brunt of the blame for having failed to appropriate the funds that all health professionals were pleading for prior to the last budget.

“Putting patients lives at risk in the way the strike has is extremely irresponsible. While it is disappointing the nurses were prepared to run that risk, the ultimate blame must rest on a Government that has done little more than a National Government would have,” Mr Capill continued.

The CHP believes that an immediate injection of money should be made into health: targeting wages to keep health professionals in New Zealand. This money could easily be found by diverting appropriations from other non-essential government ministries such as Women’s Affairs, America’s Cup and Kiwi Bank initiatives.

END

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