The president comments ...
|Publication:||Name: Kai Tiaki: Nursing New Zealand Publisher: New Zealand Nurses' Organisation Audience: Trade Format: Magazine/Journal Subject: Health; Health care industry Copyright: COPYRIGHT 2010 New Zealand Nurses' Organisation ISSN: 1173-2032|
|Issue:||Date: Feb, 2010 Source Volume: 16 Source Issue: 1|
Welcome to the fast lane of 2010. The waters are pretty choppy out
there and I hope you have the strength to keep treading water for awhile
yet. Better still, grab your life jacket so you can relax before taking
a deep breath every now and again. The constant changes being hurled at
the health sector are mind-boggling, especially considering the National
Party campaigned on "no major changes in health" at the last
The pace of change is somewhat disconcerting and at times I feel health managers have been forced to become very reactionary rather than proactive, future-focused and innovative. Health services cost money and the government understandably wants the best health outcomes for the money invested. However, if resourcing is Less than previous years, then the health sector needs to be honest about the services that can realistically be provided.
Common sense says you cannot deliver more with less, but this is exactly what health services are currently trying to grapple with. Hopefully nurses and health care workers will see the $350 million in savings that Minister of Health Tony Ryall is referring to, as back office functions are combined and this money redistributed to frontline services.
Is it that simple? Obviously not or the savings would be starting to flow through. In fact, some of the current changes have seen a decrease in frontline staff. If an administrative job is lost then the health professional must take on the clerical role as well, within existing work hours, Leaving even less time for patients. Does this sound a familiar scenario to you?
Currently it seems there is little respect for the biggest part of the health sector workforce, as nurses are not being consulted. Instead we are being told what is happening, or this is how it is going to be. Is this how you feel too? If so, stand up and say "I have an idea" or, even better, do it as a group and be heard. Your voice from the coalface is very powerful. Nurses have many innovative ideas and excellent problem-solving abilities. Many of these innovations have led to improved efficiencies and demonstrated cost savings, as well as delivering improved health outcomes.
As NZNO president, I challenge you to put your best ideas forward, contribute to submissions, continue to be proactive and actively participate in the change process, both at your workplace and through NZNO. These actions will deliver the outcomes nurses and health care workers want, instead of having change dictated to us. Let's help create the very best health system in New Zealand, one we can be proud of because it has safe staffing, collaboration, dignity and respect as its heart. I am looking forward to working in such an environment and took forward to all your contributions.
I hope you all are managing to keep your heads above the choppy waters out there and eyes focused on the big picture. The New Year's resolution season has come and almost gone. Before it disappears completely, may I suggest you write yours down because, if you are like me, there are several. Then they need to be broken down into small bite-size pieces so they can be achieved. I find that if goals are written down they are easier to achieve. Safe staffing here we come! Collaboration, respect and dignity will flow from there.
|Gale Copyright:||Copyright 2010 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.|