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Urgent action needed to resolve industrial situation
14 December 2007
Urgent action is now needed to resolve the industrial situation for senior hospital doctors, says the New Zealand Medical Association (NZMA).
"It is a sad time for New Zealand when senior hospital doctors are forced into a situation where they feel strike action is necessary," NZMA Chair Dr Peter Foley said today.
"Taking industrial action will not have been an easy decision. However, in the long-term interests of quality care for patients, there is no other choice."
Dr Foley said the NZMA has repeatedly called on the Government to take urgent action to improve the working environment and industrial situation in the public hospital sector.
The Minister of Health, Ministry of Health, and the DHBs set the environment in which doctors work, and they need to show that they value the medical profession's critical role in the delivery of health care.
The medical workforce is already under huge stress, for many reasons, and the unresolved industrial dispute just adds to that pressure, Dr Foley said.
The NZMA and other medical organisations are ready to assist in sorting out the workforce difficulties.
The NZMA has been pleased at some recent improvement in understanding between DHBs and their senior doctors, but clearly this shift has not been enough.