Concerned Auckland nurses say healthcare system disagrees

Auckland Metro District Health Boards (DHB) nurses and other health workers say they are concerned that the image of a robust health system painted by Wellington health officials falls short of the reality they face every day on the front lines.

“We keep telling the country that the health system is doing well and that we are well placed to deal with a wave of COVID,” said Sarah Barker, organizer of the NZNO.

“That might be what DHB executives are reporting, but Auckland nurses say they’re already dealing with workloads they can’t handle. They’re stretched to the limit and people fall between stitches in the net right now.

“Due to the lockdown and the Auckland epidemic, people do not show up to the emergency room until they are seriously ill. -necessary surgeries.

“There just aren’t enough nurses to cope with these complex needs, and nurses say their colleagues are leaving at a breakneck pace.”

Ms Barker says nurses are always expected to provide adequate and expert care when working conditions are both intolerable and unsustainable.

“We don’t expect people to work in dangerous workplaces, but nurses are continually being asked to do just that, and hardly anything is being done to deal with the situation by the people who have the power to do so. to do.

“Nurses are ignored or pushed aside when they sound the alarm. Agreed escalation processes that would re-prioritize less urgent care are not being used to reduce pressure on our healthcare system, and staffing shortages are not being proactively addressed. “

She says some of the things nurses have suggested include active recruiting drives; free nursing education; and make it cheaper and easier for people to see their GP.

“The nurses don’t want to be just the ambulance at the bottom of the cliff, but right now that’s about all they have the capacity to do.

“I am really worried that the government is telling people we can handle a wave of COVID when the reality is we have 1000 vacant healthcare worker positions in the Auckland region. It is not improving, and we are are actually pretty deep trouble. “

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