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Health budget shortfalls see staff under stress

8 August 2012 MEDIA STATEMENT

Health budget shortfalls see staff under stress

Budget shortfalls are hitting District Health Boards across the country, with overworked staff worried it is putting people’s health at risk, Labour's Health spokesperson Maryan Street says.

"The result of insufficient and misplaced funding is having a huge impact on frontline services, with vacancies not being filled, staff being relocated to different services, and people unable to take breaks and annual leave.”

Responses to a recent PSA survey - carried out at Auckland, Counties Manukau and Waitemata DHBs – reveal a workface struggling to cope, said Ms Street.

"We are seeing a shortage of expert staff across the health spectrum, including physiotherapists and laboratory staff. In turn that is causing delays which are compromising people's health.

"Tony Ryall's pursuit of measurable tick box results is damaging the delivery of frontline services at the country’s largest DHBs. In the process of delivering more elective surgical procedures, he ignores the very real needs of other services which people expect their DHBs to be able to deliver.

"The PSA survey results show that lab tests have been dangerously delayed and physiotherapy has not been available to rehabilitate stroke patients. If that is not damaging frontline services, what is?

"No amount of additional elective procedures can disguise the real pressure these DHBs are under to deliver their core business,” said Maryan Street.

ends

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