Protests begin over underfunding

REVIEW NEEDED: Nico Woodward, the emergency department nurse who has been travelling with the YesWeCare.nz roadshow. Photo supplied

Around 200 life-sized cut-outs of missing health workers were erected at Botany Superclinic and at Middlemore Hospital to raise awareness about the impact of underfunding.

YesWeCare.nz, a community and health workforce coalition, is travelling the country in a Roadshow, talking to communities about the impacts of underfunding and unmet healthcare needs.

A pilot study published in the New Zealand Medical Journal this week found at least a quarter of adults were unable to get the primary health care they required.

The study shows nine per cent of people had unmet secondary health care needs.
YesWeCare.nz campaign coordinator Simon Oosterman says Government underfunding is to blame for lack of access to healthcare.

“The new research on unmet need is appalling but isn’t surprising, because it reflects what we’ve heard around the country,” he says.

“Kiwis who would benefit from surgery are suffering unnecessarily, and we’ve talked to hundreds of health professionals who are devastated they can’t do more.”

Mr Oosterman says the survey shows current measures of unmet need are flawed and need review.

“The government doesn’t include the one in nine Kiwis who can’t afford to visit GPs, or the patients who aren’t referred to hospital because GPs know they won’t be accepted for treatment.”

The Public Service Association also backed the call for an independent survey to accurately measure the size and nature of unmet health need.

  • Patients and people working in health can share stories about unmet need and underfunding on the organisations website at: www.yeswecare.nz/share-your-story\