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Nursing Shortage will take Decades to Eliminate

PRESS RELEASE | Erica Stanford MP | 25 August 2022 -

Nursing shortage will take decades to eliminate

Labour is failing to attract overseas nurses, with the Immigration Minister confirming today that just 24 offshore nurses have applied for the Government’s new work visa in the last two months despite the country being over 4000 nurses short, National’s Immigration Spokesperson Erica Stanford says.

“Under Labour, our hospitals and emergency departments are overflowing and patients are missing out on urgent care. But instead of putting nurses on the fast-track residency pathway and getting them into the country urgently, the Government continues to drag its feet.

“At the current rate of just 12 nurses a month, it will take decades to eliminate our 4000 nurse shortage.

“Of course, that assumes we keep the nurses we’ve got. But a recent survey from the New Zealand Nurses Organisation found that 11 per cent of nurses, or around 6,600, have made plans to leave the profession or move overseas, and a further 60 per cent are seriously considering it.

“The same survey found that 64 per cent of nurses agreed the most important thing we can do to address the crisis in our health system is to give migrant nurses residence immediately, like Australia does.

“Nurses get it, hospitals get it, the public gets it, even Health New Zealand gets it. The only people in the country who don’t seem to understand how urgently we need to bring more nurses in are this arrogant and out-of-touch Labour Government.

“It’s astonishing that Labour continues to think game developers and multi-media specialists – who are on the residency fast-track – are a more urgent priority than nurses.

“We have a health workforce crisis that can only be solved by attracting more overseas nurses to New Zealand while we increase our domestic supply. The Government needs to stop dithering and take action to get more nurses into the country right now.”


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