Primary Health Care nurses rally in Christchurch

Chris Lynch
Chris Lynch
Aug 28, 2022 |

File: Unsplash

Primary Health Care nurses will hold public rallies today in five main centres to call on the Government to ensure Health New Zealand (formerly the DHBs) urgently provides the funding needed to properly value Aotearoa’s Primary Health Care nurses.

The main centres are Auckland, Tauranga, Hamilton, Wellington and Christchurch and the rallies will run from 12.30 until 1.30pm.

Primary Health Care nurses work in areas including General Practice, after-hours emergency centres, Plunket, Māori and iwi health providers, Urgent Care and Family Planning.

They have the same qualifications, training and responsibilities as Te Whatu Ora nurses, but are paid less.

Many employers say they want to pay their staff the same rates as Te Whatu Ora nurses, but they can’t do so without increased capitation funding from the Government.

Christchurch-based Primary Health Care nurse Denise Moore said many nurses are leaving Primary Health Care for hospital-based jobs with Te Whatu Ora where they can earn more, and that this is causing real problems for members of the community.

“I don’t blame nurses for leaving Primary Health Care for better pay because it is hard to make ends meet on our wages, but it does make things worse for those who remain because staff numbers are so low and the hours are already long and arduous.

When employers can’t find new nurses to replace the ones who have left, it means they have to cut services or delay appointments and that affects everyone in the community.”

At today’s rallies members of the public will be invited to rate the Government’s performance on fairly paying Primary Health Care nurses by placing a sticker on their chosen location on a large Plunket chart. They can also cast a ballot to vote on how well they think the Government is doing at valuing Primary Health Care Nurses.

The rally will be starting at 12.30pm Riverside Market

Chris Lynch
Chris Lynch

Chris Lynch is a journalist, videographer and content producer, broadcasting from his independent news and production company in Christchurch, New Zealand. If you have a news tip or are interested in video content, email [email protected]

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