New Zealand Labour Party

Coleman plays down the plight of junior doctors

Junior doctors are crucial to our health services and the industrial action that continues tomorrow shows how desperately the Government has underfunded health, says Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King. 

“Jonathan Coleman’s claim that he has not seen objective evidence of health and safety risks as a result of overworked junior doctors is just plain insulting.

“These doctors are on strike because they are falling asleep at the wheel when they are driving home and they are concerned at their safety and their patient’s safety around the hours they are being forced to work. 

“Doctors say they are having to work rosters that mean they are on the job 12 days in a row. 

“The reason is that our District Health Boards are not being fully funded to meet wage pressures. They are being swamped by growing cuts, Coleman’s so called efficiencies, that are preventing any sort of meaningful solutions to the under staffing of our hospitals. 

“This Government is so out of touch with John Key comparing the long hours of junior doctors with those of investment bankers! 

“Health’s chickens have come home to roost and we are now looking at the results of the Government’s failure over the past 6 years to fund the $1.7 billion needed for the system just to stand still, “says Annette King.