I’ve spent a long time working in health, and have seen a lot of change. Governments come and they go, budgets change, policies shift. But what doesn’t change is the reason we are attracted to health careers- it comes from a deeply felt desire to make a difference, and change the lives of others for the better.
What you’ve been telling us over the last few years is that it’s becoming harder to connect to that feeling in your everyday working life.
Of course, we still do good. Nursing, like all people-centred jobs is about getting creative, working with what you’ve got and accepting what you can’t change. But the more workarounds our members have to do to give good care, the less time they actually have to provide that care. Nursing SHOULD be a job where you can go home at the end of the day with a satisfied feeling that you were able to make the difference, not frustrated about what you couldn’t do. Nursing is a job we should be able to love.
You have told us you want:
- “A health system we can be proud of, where everyone can get the healthcare they need when and where they need it.”
- “To feel proud of the care we provide, and be confident that we have the resources to provide safe, quality care at all times.”
- “We want satisfying careers with pay that values our work and is enough to thrive on, and ongoing professional development.”
And that’s what NZNO is also pushing for. But we need your help!
Right now, the effects of healthcare funding are all around us- on the ward, in the community, and in the news. In just the last few weeks, we’ve seen news reports about
- Possible reductions of regional services
- A proposed inquiry on the quality of our mental health services
- Hospitals needing charity donations to buy critical equipment
- The Government watchdog saying that DHBs have ‘too much focus on the bottom line’ and that affects their ability to plan and cope with adversity.
- A report showing that half our public hospital specialist doctors are suffering burnout related to DHB financial constraints.
And the list could go on. The best management and policy in the world can’t make 1+1 = 3. Healthcare underfunding affects almost every aspect of our working lives, and is starting to impact on patient care. I know we all want better. That’s why we are running a campaign programme led by YOU, our members, called Shout out for health. Shout out for health will take action on health funding to push for a health system we are all proud of. Sometimes it will be about a particular service, like our petition on funding for Smokefree services.
And sometimes it will be about a local issue, that you let us know is happening. The important thing is we need confident, passionate members to make it a success.
If you are an NZNO delegate or NZNO champion, you should have received an email inviting you to a special Shout out leadership training programme. You need to let us know now if you are in- so check your emails please!
If you are ready to stand up and take action to make health funding a priority for all politicians, sign up to be a supporter of the campaign here.
We are a professional association and union of 47,000 people who care deeply about others. If we use our voice to say ‘health matters’, we have the power to make it better for patients, but also for ourselves.
NZNO Chief Executive