Anne Daniels, President
NZNO Tōpūtanga Tapuhi Kaitiaki o Aotearoa
Last week I attended an amazing concert that abounded with local talent covering Beatles songs, and one in particular was about “getting a little help from our friends.” That very much made me think about the NZNO rallies coming up on our 15 April Day of Action.
Some say a problem shared is a problem halved. It is about deciding to reach out and recognising who to reach out to. Te Whatu Ora has an overarching goal of “creating an equitable, integrated and sustainable health service with “a shift of emphasis towards primary and community care allowing more people to be cared for close to home and take a greater role in their own health and wellbeing.”
A shift towards primary and community care requires resourcing in both the public and funded sector. That means supporting more nurses, community midwives, care workers, kaiāwhina etc to work in the sector. Right now, however there are massive shortages of nurses and other health care workers everywhere. And you know that we are undervalued, underpaid, unsupported to do our work safely. Care must also be culturally safe to meet the needs of those who need it most.
So why are most of our health dollars going to cure? Social determinants of health account for 30-55 percent of health outcomes and even more when looking at population health outcomes. Social determinants of health are non-medical factors that influence health outcomes (economic, social, political policy, education, unemployment, working/life conditions, food insecurity, housing, and many more).
Addressing the social determinants of health is fundamental to improving health, preventing illness and reducing inequities. It requires everyone to get involved, and we need every nurse, everywhere to make this happen.
Each one of us (more than 56,000 members), our whānau, friends, neighbours, groups, communities, and regions need to stand together and demand that the emphasis and resourcing of the medical model of health is shifted to eliminate the factors that contribute to ill health. Long-term, this will reduce the demand on the hospitals, reduce costs and improve everyone’s health and wellbeing.
On 15 April NZNO is having a Day of Action. Members have a real opportunity to encourage our nation to stand together and make those demands. All around the country we will have marches, rallies with fun activities and kai, and a few speeches to tell our Government, our public servants, and what we want from them. We will also be launch a petition calling on political parties to commit to NZNO’s fixes for the health system And we want that petition to be massive!
We need a little help from you and your friends to make health (not illness) a top priority in the coming election. Maranga Mai! asks that every member, everywhere participates. Join us for an hour or two. Bring the kids, the family, the neighbours and make a collective stand for health.
Contact your groups and ask if you can advertise the Day of Action through your networks. Put up posters, txt/email your colleagues and invite them to stand with us. Lets’ show the power of the many, rising up together, and be part of the change we want to see.