Message about Auckland hospitals struggling to cope will resonate with senior doctors

Association of Salaried Medical Specialists's picture

22 February 2018

By ASMS

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&objectid=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:

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