Andrew Little is visibly annoyed by the problems he’s encountered in the health system since taking on the portfolio following last year’s election.
“We’ve put so much extra funding into the system since we’ve been in Government and the same pressures that were evident three years ago are evident now.
“So, what I’m saying is how can we possibly have pumped in billions of extra dollars, and it not appear to have made a difference?’’
A very good question. The answer is a mixture of incompetence and abolishing the health targets.
One is having funded over the last three years an additional 3000 full-time nurses to take the pressure off a stretched workforce.
Half of those roles remain vacant, so instead DHBs are paying overtime to already over-worked nurses and paying expensive bills for agency nurses to fill the gaps.
Well the Government is making near impossible for qualified nurses to get residency in NZ.
“After having made the decision in 2019 that we’re going to spend $235 million on these five (mental health) facilities – two years on we are still in so-called planning stages and in some cases a site hasn’t even been identified yet as to where a particular facility is going to go.
“It’s just ridiculous,’’ exclaims Little.
It is ridiculous and the role of a good Minister is to ensure things don’t die under bureaucratic blankets.