22 February 2018
Message about Auckland hospitals struggling to cope will resonate with senior doctors
“The strong message about a public health system at breaking point that Auckland hospital leaders have given politicians
will resonate with senior doctors and other front-line staff who deal with the consequences every day,” says Angela
Belich, Deputy Executive Director of the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists (ASMS).
She was commenting on reports that hospital bosses from the Auckland district health boards told Parliament’s health
select committee that the health system is feeling the pressure of underfunding and population growth, with
unprecedented demand on acute services and staff struggling to cope (http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1=11999171
“This will come as no surprise to ASMS members, who are some of the most senior doctors in the country and have been
telling us for some time about the realities of working in hospitals that are chronically under-funded and
under-resourced,” says Ms Belich.
“It’s good that politicians are also getting the message loud and clear from the people running our public hospitals as
they, too, are struggling to ensure a high-quality health service while the cupboards are bare.
“The Government needs to address the longstanding challenges around workforce shortages and inadequate funding for our
public health system, and it needs to start that work immediately. Winter’s just around the corner and that will put
even more pressure on our hospitals, especially as they brace for the worse-than-usual northern hemisphere flu to make
its way to New Zealand.”
Previous ASMS research publications have highlighted what it is like for hospital specialists working in an
under-resourced public health system: