Doctors are short staffed, tired, chances of making mistakes 'very real'

New Zealand's health sector is struggling, it's short of nurses - and planned surgeries in the North Island have been put on hold for a month

"Right now nurses would be on considerably more money," said Little.

"But, the nurse organisation Is blocking it. I stand by the front-line nurses who are really doing it tough but I stand behind the management of hospitals who are doing everything they can to make sure they can manage the pressure."

New Zealand Resident Doctors Association national secretary Deborah Powell joined Rachel Smalley on Wednesday morning to discuss the crisis in our health system.

As the government is being hauled over the coals for refusing to acknowledge that hospitals are in the midst of a crisis, Powell says health workers are treading water.

"We have short-staffed rosters," said Powell.

"The doctors are carrying the workload of two, they're tired and when their workload is twice what it should be, the chance of them making a mistake is very real."

Listen to the full interview between Deborah Powell and Rachel Smalley above.