The Australasian College for Emergency Medicine (ACEM; the College) welcomes the Aotearoa New Zealand Government’s
announcement of solutions aimed at addressing the healthcare workforce crisis, and urges the government to promptly
implement the fixes to quickly reduce pressures on overwhelmed emergency departments.
When successfully implemented, the initiatives and investments
will deliver urgently needed improvements in workforce sustainability, and positively impact systemic pressures that
lead to access block
, staff burn-out, ambulance ramping, excessive waits for care and poorer outcomes for patients.
ACEM is pleased that the announced initiatives include both short-term and long-term approaches to addressing workforce
shortages, including investments and services aimed at supporting overseas nurses and doctors to achieve registration in
New Zealand, and greater focus on supporting the training of future healthcare workers.
The College encourages the government to consider strategies and incentives that ensure equitable distribution of
workforce in rural areas, which are most affected by the workforce crisis, and to work with frontline healthcare workers
on any further workforce solutions.
The College has been regularly drawing attention to the crippling issues being experienced in the nation’s emergency
departments (EDs), that are leading to poorer outcomes for patients and contributing to staff burnout. A dangerous
shortage of healthcare workers, particularly senior nurses and in primary care, has been exacerbated by absences due to
illness, including COVID-19.
ACEM recently welcomed
the $1.1 billion for health in the budget and called for a fix for the workforce crisis.
ACEM Aotearoa New Zealand Chair Dr Kate Allan said, “Skilled healthcare workers are the most important part of the
healthcare system and Aotearoa New Zealand’s emergency doctors strongly welcome the government’s announcement of
initiatives aimed at increasing the amount of healthcare workers across the health system now, and into the future.”
“These urgently needed fixes must be delivered as soon as possible – kiwis can’t wait any longer.”
“The healthcare workforce crisis is being experienced across the world, and we are grateful that the New Zealand
Government has listened to its healthcare workers and provided tangible solutions to improve this critical issue.”Background:
ACEM is the peak body for emergency medicine in Australia and New Zealand, responsible for training emergency physicians
and advancement of professional standards. www.acem.org.au