The government announced yesterday that they’d poached the head of Scotland’s health service to head ours. And their choice of someone who said that he could provide health services with “significantly fewer” doctors and nurses, and followed through on that, sacking 1500 nurses last year, says everything about their intended direction.
The education sector is in disarray with teacher strikes over pay and conditions (not to mention the disastrous National™ Standards), and the possibility that even if they go back to the negotiation table the Ministry of Education negotiating staff might be too busy striking to allow a deal.
But the government is not content with that level of disorder, so it’s inflaming health as well.
Radiology Services and Medical Laboratory staff are already into rolling strikes and now junior doctors look set to join them. So the introduction of someone who sees working our health professionals harder as an option isn’t going to help. Junior doctors already normally do 60 hour weeks, and nurses no longer get the time with patients that really aids their recovery.
Doctors’ wages, like teachers’, are behind most other western countries. But it appears that John ‘I’d like to see wages drop’ Key is just as keen to work his magic on professionals as well as factory workers. Now that truly is ‘aspirational’ for Key’s government.
[Once again John – if the ‘fundamental purpose’ of your government is to close the wage gap with Australia, raising wages is a good place to start.]