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PSI launches Human Right to Health campaign in the Oceania sub-region

As part of its recently-launched Global Campaign for the Human Right to Health, Public Services International initiates a Human Right to Health campaign in the Oceania sub-region. “On Wednesday 15 February one of the busiest roads in Auckland, New Zealand saw a united union movement launch the PSI Human Right to Health campaign in the Oceania sub-region. Two hundred life-size cutouts represented 20,000 missing healthcare workers within New Zealand alone. According to the New Zealand unions the 20,000 missing healthcare workers are a result of an estimated NZ$1.85 billion-dollar hole in the national health budget. The burden of this under-spending is not just borne by the existing healthcare workers who have to work harder to fill the gaps, but by the communities. (…) In Australia healthcare workers are fighting against the privatization of public hospitals and disability services which will see the loss of enforceable minimum staffing (nurse to patient ratios) and the fragmentation of specialist services.” The Tonga Nurses Association talked of the impact that a shortage of doctors was having on nurses who are increasingly being asked to fill the gaps. While in Fiji, lower pay and outdated pay scales mean that Fiji nurses are looking to work overseas, making retention of the workforce difficult.

Source: www.world-psi.org