Healthy protest in support of hauora

Nurses checked blood pressure outside electorate office as to highlight hauora underfunding

Nurses checked blood pressure outside electorate office as to highlight hauora underfunding

TAKING MISSION TO THE STREETS: Hospital duty nurse manager Teresa Fisher takes the blood pressure of Katie Prescott during a “protest” outside Anne Tolley’s electorate office aimed at getting greater government funding for Ngati Porou Hauora. Pictures by Liam Clayton
Nurse Val Scott checks Allen Hurne.

NURSES offered free blood pressure testing and blood sugar screening outside Anne Tolley’s electorate office yesterday as a form of poltical protest.

“We are taking this action to show we are serious about getting a better deal for Ngati Porou Hauora patients,” Public Service Association organiser Margaret Takoko said.

“Ngati Porou Hauora is funded through Hauora Tairawhiti and has not received a funding increase, forcing the iwi to dig into Treaty settlement money to bail out the health service.

“We understand the iwi is given more than a million dollars and we question what else could be done with that money.”

Since National took office in 2008, health funding had not kept pace with inflation and population growth. Economists estimated nearly $1.85 billion was “missing” from the health budget, she said.

“Smaller centres like Gisborne feel the rough end of the under-funding in health. We want this government to take the health of our people seriously, and taking our mission to the streets is one way to do that.”

The free services were part of the New Zealand Nurses Organisation-led campaign Shout Out for Health, which calls for full funding of health services.

Free blood pressure testing, blood sugar screening and other services, which would normally involve a visit to a health centre, were available outside Mrs Tolley’s Gladstone Road office from 11.30am to 1.30pm.

NURSES offered free blood pressure testing and blood sugar screening outside Anne Tolley’s electorate office yesterday as a form of poltical protest.

“We are taking this action to show we are serious about getting a better deal for Ngati Porou Hauora patients,” Public Service Association organiser Margaret Takoko said.

“Ngati Porou Hauora is funded through Hauora Tairawhiti and has not received a funding increase, forcing the iwi to dig into Treaty settlement money to bail out the health service.

“We understand the iwi is given more than a million dollars and we question what else could be done with that money.”

Since National took office in 2008, health funding had not kept pace with inflation and population growth. Economists estimated nearly $1.85 billion was “missing” from the health budget, she said.

“Smaller centres like Gisborne feel the rough end of the under-funding in health. We want this government to take the health of our people seriously, and taking our mission to the streets is one way to do that.”

The free services were part of the New Zealand Nurses Organisation-led campaign Shout Out for Health, which calls for full funding of health services.

Free blood pressure testing, blood sugar screening and other services, which would normally involve a visit to a health centre, were available outside Mrs Tolley’s Gladstone Road office from 11.30am to 1.30pm.

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