Health NZ is set to become the country’s largest employer – with a workforce of 80,000.
There was a record $11.1 billion increase in the budget to help set up the new authority and the Maori Health Authority, which will replace the 20 district health boards.
Health Minister Andrew Little explained the spending budget to health officials in Auckland this morning, outlining how important the new Health NZ organization will be.
Health workers expressed frustration that multiple staff shortages, with some, like crisis-level nurses, barely noting a mention in the document.
But Little said Health NZ would help.
Scale, along with centralization, would allow for a more strategic national approach to solving the problem, he said.
“There is a global shortage of health workers – we are in a very competitive market,” he said.
“We’re doing what we can. We’re also investing in building our own business so there’s more money for workforce development, more money for helping people get jobs. health skills.”
The government has committed $79 million over four years to support workforce development.
But the Nurses Organization said the support funding only helped around the edges.
He wanted significant dollars spent to recruit more workers and fairly pay those who exist, including ensuring there was enough to settle wage disputes.