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Leaked Ministerial Briefing Shows Green List Emergency

“A Ministerial Briefing leaked to the ACT Party shows Health Minister Andrew Little is fully aware of the shortages across the health sector and yet he continues to do nothing,” says ACT Deputy Leader and Health spokesperson Brooke van Velden.

“A week ago today, Minister Little received advice from the Ministry of Health stating: “This briefing provides you with information on the green list and advises you that several health professionals are not included in the list despite evidence that shows persisting shortages.”

“The briefing goes on to list 30 professions within the health sector that should be put on the Green List, including nurses and paramedics.

“Our hospitals are at breaking point and ACT has been calling for nurses and paramedics to be put on the Green List and fast tracked straight to residency, rather than having to wait two years, but our calls have been ignored. It is obvious to everyone that this needs to happen, except for Andrew Little and Immigration Minister Michael Wood.

“Last week in Parliament I asked Andrew Little why paramedics aren’t on the list and he replied, “I can’t explain what has happened in relation to paramedics.” That was a day after Little had received advice from his own department that they should be included.

“He has since attended Cabinet and yet nothing has been done. He needs to answer whether he even raised this at Cabinet on Monday. The advice says, “many health professions are experiencing workforce shortages and should be included in the green list now.”

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“What is most shocking is that in the briefing the Ministry of Health claims that Immigration New Zealand was considering changing which medical professionals should be added to the Green List and they did not consult the Ministry of Health or Te Whatu Ora. Immigration New Zealand’s list did not include enrolled nurses or paramedics, two desperately needed professions.

“It’s incredible that Immigration would even consider changing some of the Green List settings for health without asking anyone in health what they actually need.

“It’s time Andrew Little and Michael Wood took their heads out of the sand and listened to our health workforce, watched the news and stop being so pig-headed. The Prime Minister should be using her international fame to run job fairs in South East Asia instead of kneeling next to Joe Biden for a few seconds.

“It’s time for changes to the Green List, our health workers need the support and lives depend on it.”

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