4 Jun 2024

Nurses fear hospital budget cuts will put staff, safety at risk

From Nine To Noon, 9:05 am on 4 June 2024
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Photo: 123rf

Nurses say they're at breaking point already, and fear cuts to hospital budgets demanded by Health NZ will put their own safety, and that of patients, at risk. This is despite the multi billion dollar injection for health in Thursday's Budget.

RNZ reported in April that the country's public hospitals have been given the target to save a total of $105m by July.

Te Whatu Ora says several districts have gone over budget in recent months. It says it is "reducing the overspend, not making cuts". Hospital nurses say Te Whatu Ora has ordered an end to double shifts, and imposed new limitations on replacing sick staff in wards during the day.

The New Zealand Nurses Organisation warns failing to plug the gaps will impact medical care. It has written to Health NZ's chief people officer, to share nurses' concerns of how they feel this may impact them.