INDEPENDENT NEWS

Annette says no to nurses and doctors

Published: Wed 2 Aug 2000 02:08 PM
The Health Minister has today delivered more bad news to hospitals and their nurses and doctors looking for pay rises to fix staff shortages, National's Health spokesperson Wyatt Creech said today.
"She won't be providing any more money to lift pay rates even though she admitted at today's Health Select Committee that there is 'an urgent situation' with nurse shortages.
"The Minister was given the chance to explain any extra money in this year's Budget for pay rises.
"There is nothing specific in the Budget for pay rises for nurses and doctors. This is despite the Minister's rhetoric before the election that nurses should be paid more.
"We are now getting a lot of stories of nurse shortages. Health professionals are now saying that benchmark pay rates in New Zealand are not high enough to keep nurses in the country.
"The Minister will not provide more money for pay rises. All she is doing is setting up a committee and blaming others for the problem. Neither action will keep nurses in our hospitals today or next week or next month.
"Instead of trying to deflect the argument away from her responsibility by blaming the previous Government - using incorrect facts - the Minister should be taking action."
Ends

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