Bus tour aims to connect with nurses and patients around the motu

The nurses union kicked off a national tour Monday as part of a campaign to improve nurse-to-patient ratios and highlight the need for more health funding across Aotearoa.

New Zealand Nurses Organisation (NZNO) president Anne Daniels was in Nelson for the launch of the [https://www.facebook.com/NZNursesOrganisation/posts/pfbid0M8pxr3aHUCEtvRWMx7rEq7fGLJU5Fm8L3JePUVSiPGyt6vCJ8WzeuhCRHRrZcwgGl

Ratio Justice campaign].

“We want enough nurses, midwives and healthcare assistants who have the right skills and experience to do the job where and when it is needed.”

She said the bulk of health funding in Budget 2024 was to meet cost pressures, not for new health initiatives.

“Pre-election the current coalition government told us very clearly that there would be more money for more nurses so that we could provide safe, quality care. That hasn’t happened, there’s only enough in the budget to keep the lights on, there is certainly nothing in the budget for primary care or aged care.

“The hospital system is under huge pressure, we have been using the word crisis for many years now but the fact is that unless we get much more funding into primary health for early intervention and prevention, the pressures on hospitals will continue.”

RNZ reported in April that the country’s public hospitals have been given the target to save a total of $105m by July.

New Zealand Nurses Organisation president Anne Daniels, right, with staff and the bus that is travelling around the South Island as part of a campaign to raise awareness of the issues the health system is facing due to underfunding.

Nurses said they were already at breaking point and cuts to hospital budgets will put their own safety, and that of patients, at risk.

Daniels said funding for primary health would help people to stay well, instead of picking up the pieces when they needed hospital treatment.

With Māori and Pasifika experiencing poorer health outcomes than the general population, Daniels said more nurses were needed that reflected those populations.

She said it was the first bus tour the organisation had ever done, in a bid to connect with nurses and patients from around the motu.

“We want the public to understand and hear our stories face to face and this is why we are going around big centres and small to talk to people and hear their stories.”

Daniels said NZNO would take those stories back to parliament and it wanted to work with politicians to set up a health system that enabled people to stay well.

“We want the government to understand how desperate the situation is for so many individuals and families and communities.”

The campaign will run until 20 June, during which time three buses will simultaneously travel the length of the North and South islands.

According to the news on Radio New Zealand

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