Address The Nursing Workforce Gap

12 May 2021

Nurses are amongst the most valued and respected members of our community.

Today is International Nurses Day – and underlines the vital role nurses play in our health system.

NZMA Chair Alistair Humphrey says the NZMA acknowledges and thanks all nurses for their hard work and commitment.

“It is disappointing however that disparities still exist between nurses working in the community and those who work in the hospital,” Dr Humphrey says.

Current funding does not allow primary care nurses to be paid the same as their hospital-based colleagues.

A sustainable nursing workforce is critical to general practice. The skill and contribution of nurses is vital to the primary care team and the delivery of health services to all New Zealanders.  

Primary care nurses have been on the frontline in the community battling COVID-19.

GPs value our nurses highly, but to do this in real terms, the Government needs to invest in the general practice team to close the pay gap.

The small amount of funding from the Government for nurses under the primary care MECA did not go far enough and has created inequity across the system.  

“If this gap is not addressed general practice will struggle to recruit and retain nurses,” Dr Humphrey says.  

“This will further increase pressure on the delivery of high-quality general practice service in the community.”