Release: Govt cuts doctors and nurses in hiring freeze

Cuts to frontline hospital staff are not only a broken election promise, it shows the reckless tax cuts have well and truly hit the frontline of the health system, says Labour Health spokesperson Ayesha Verrall.

“Hospitals are being blocked from appointing doctors to vacant roles as Health New Zealand chiefs have called for a nationwide hiring freeze this week, including for roles that were so close to being filled the candidates had completed the interview progress,” said Ayesha Verrall.

“Te Whatu Ora are turning doctors and nurses away from jobs. Managers have been told that all vacant positions are being reviewed and potentially cut.

“Minister of Health Shane Reti campaigned on a health workforce crisis in New Zealand, but now he is blocking Te Whatu Ora from hiring the clinicians needed. 

“The Finance Minister has insisted frontline services like health will not be impacted by public service cuts, but that is exactly what is happening in Te Whatu Ora now. Fewer doctors and nurses are the price of National’s tax cuts.

“Labour built a surgical hospital on Auckland’s North Shore but it is lying idle because this government is blocking clinician recruitment.

“Under Labour almost 2000 nurses were hired in the year to September, but it hasn’t taken long for National to undo that progress. This Government is taking New Zealand backwards,” said Ayesha Verrall.

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