Health NZ Chair - 'There is no use just running around shoving sticking plasters on things'

Despite the Health Minister’s protestations that the health sector isn’t in crisis, it clearly is - we hear it every day from the frontline.

And the upshot is this, lives could be lost.

They may already have been. 

Through no fault of the people working all of the hours to try to save them. 

Imagine what that’s like. Imagine if you or your family need them. Maybe you don’t have to imagine and you know firsthand what it’s like. 

‘Multiple crises’ is how the Chair of Health NZ described it on this programme on day one of the health reforms just a fortnight ago.

Chair of Health NZ Rob Campbell, told Tova the people on the front line in health services are finding it very tough at the moment.

"Everything we can do as a community to be supportive of them is really important."

Campbell says both planned and urgent surgeries are a 'huge balancing act' for the whole system, given the demand at the front door for emergency departments is up at the level it currently is.

He explained to Tova that it's a matter of how you look at the situation.

"It's no good rushing around like a chook with its head cut off in these situations, you just have to carefully work your way through it and that's what we are doing, just what our people on the front line are doing."

While Campbell doesn't want to get caught up in what he called a 'verbal ping pong match with the Prime Minister' following her comments around international nurses not being enticed by a two-year fast track to residency earlier this week, he says the issues are far broader than just not attracting enough nurses from overseas.

"Would we live to have more nurses available, yes, of course, we would but it's not just a matter of the overseas nurses coming.

"There is no use just running around shoving sticking plasters on things, that's what the New Zealand system has done for years."

Listen to the full interview between Rob Campbell and Tova above.

You can also download the full interview on the Tova podcast, and listen on the go. Check it out on the rova app or wherever you get your podcasts.