Two stressed nurses with an EKG reading behind them and the text reading 'Health Crisis'
Health

'Definitely in a health crisis' - says anonymous overworked nurse

Pressure continues to mount on the government over its refusal to admit we're in a health crisis

Emergency department and surgical wait times have ballooned, and doctors, nurses, and medical staff are burnt out.

Many are considering leaving the profession altogether or taking their valuable skill sets overseas... Adding more pressure to Aotearoa's already stretched health system. 

Wilhelmina Shrimpton spoke to 'Sarah,' an anonymous medical worker at a regional hospital, Shrimpton asked Sarah how much pressure she and her colleagues are under.

"We're under extreme pressure at the moment," said Sarah.

"Mainly because of the flu season and there's a huge demand for hospitals at the moment, also due to GPs not being available for some patients.

"[Patients are] coming into hospital for chronic stuff like back pain, hip pain, it's just creating a huge demand on us also because we can't refuse treatment for them.

"We're basically giving them the same amount of treatment as we would get for someone that's had acute chest pain that may have started last night."

Stress, sickness, or just leaving the industry, Sarah said she thinks vaccine mandates are also responsible for the low numbers of staff in her department.

"Before I started, a lot of staff had left because of the mandate, so that's put a lot more pressure on the department," said Sarah.

"With COVID going around, a lot of our staff have got it, and it's flu season, so people are getting flu. 

"Some people have taken stress leave."

Health minister, Andrew Little is refusing to call what we're in currently a health crisis, there have been calls from GP's, nurses, patients, and the aged care sector, all saying that he should call it what it is. 

Shrimpton asked Sara if she believes we are in a health crisis.

"We are definitely in a health crisis. Be great if you [Little] would admit it, because I think, it needs to be recognised before action is taken.

Listen to the full interview between medical worker Sarah and Wilhelmina Shrimpton above.