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Budget 2015 robs Peter to pay Paul - NZNO

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

This years’ Budget does not provide enough funding to meet the health needs of New Zealanders, say nurses.

New Zealand Nurses Organisation (NZNO) chief executive, Memo Musa says, "We are disappointed to see that funding has been cut considerably for significant primary health care activities like mobile surgical services, telehealth services, inpatient hospice services, sexual health services, oral health and problem gambling."

"Funding for training our health workforce has gone down significantly yet demand for highly trained health care workers has never been higher."

"We are curious as to why there has been no increase in funding for Māori health services even though this is an area of growing need."

"Of course there are some new initiatives that are to be commended and will provide significant opportunities for nurses, for example palliative care and national bowel screening. Other initiatives aimed at supporting families at risk and at risk children are welcome but do not go far enough in tackling child poverty. And there is also good news for support workers who have to travel between clients, and funding has been budgeted for wage increases for support workers."

"However, it is a bit like robbing Peter to pay Paul - cutting some important health services to pay for new initiatives in other areas. The net result will mean some New Zealanders miss out on essential health care, and inequalities in health will continue." Musa says.

"NZNO was hoping for a Budget that delivered a real increase in health funding. As a nation we can’t provide the health care needed, to the people who need it, where they are, unless health is funded and planned properly."

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