Government ghosting health workers

Published: May 3, 2022

The Association of Salaried Medical Specialists Toi Mata Hauora says the Government continues to ghost health workers in the lead up to the Budget.

In a pre-Budget speech, the Finance Minister Grant Robertson has said New Zealand’s economy has come through the Covid shock better than most due to the positive health response.

ASMS Executive Director Sarah Dalton says that positive health response was built on the back of overburdened and hard-working health workers who have seen nothing in return.

“While the government congratulates itself, senior doctors and their colleagues are doing it tough, running hard against a tide of staffing shortages and unmet patient need.”

“Apart from a few crumbs of thanks the Government displays a clear blind spot when it comes to recognising and investing in the health workforce,” she says.

DHBs continue to take a black letter approach to public sector pay restraint as health workers see the value of their terms and conditions eroded by staffing shortages, unresolved gender pay claims and proposed pay settlements which ignore booming inflation.

Sarah Dalton says one of the things that Covid has so powerfully underlined is the need to bolster and shore up the health workforce.

“It’s time for the Government to share some of the spoils of its Covid economic success with the people who have been holding our health system together.”