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Cold comfort for hospital staff

Health Spokesperson

15 August 2011 MEDIA STATEMENT
Cold comfort for hospital staff

News that workers at a Dunedin hospital have had to trek more than 10 kilometres in the snow to get home sets a dangerous precedent for both health workers and the essential services they provide, Labour’s Health spokesperson Grant Robertson says.

“With snow storms and appalling weather gripping the country many workers are struggling to make it to and from their workplace. This is especially an issue for our healthcare workers who provide an essential service whatever the weather.”

“I have had reports that some staff at one hospital have been given assistance to get to work in bad weather, but have had to find their own way home. This has seen several forced to walk up to 10 kilometres in dreadful conditions,” Grant Robertson said.

“That is unacceptable. Staff are already feeling the pressure as hospitals, faced with funding cuts from the government, are reducing rostered staff numbers. We all rely on these high quality and professional staff. They need to be functioning at their best, not worrying about putting their own health and safety, along with that of their patients, at risk.

“I urge management at hospitals to make arrangements for staff to get to and from work in a safe manner while the country is facing these wintry conditions,” Grant Robertson said.

Paid for by Vote Parliamentary Service and Authorised by Grant Robertson, MP, Parliament Buildings, Wellington

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