An article published on 30 April 2023 in the New Zealand Herald, presents comments from the Minister of Health, Ayesha Verrall regarding the ongoing controversy in relation to the shortage of nurses in our healthcare system.
In response to this report of a recent exchange between Dr Verrall and Dr Shane Reti (National) about figures related to numbers of nurses exiting their roles “Nurses are growing increasingly tired of being used as political pawns” says Deborah Cunliffe, Founder of Nurses for Freedom NZ, “Both individuals’ comments miss the mark and fail to ask the underlying cause as to why nurses are leaving and why hundreds of nurses are not renewing their annual practicing certificates” says Deborah.
In December 2021 over 821 experienced nurses and midwives were stood down, resigned, or were terminated as they refused to take the experimental Covid-19 vaccination. This number does not include nurses in non-government organisations or carers. It also does not include nurses who left before they were terminated, for instance those opting for retirement or those on short term contracts.
“The lack of accurate data representing actual nurses leaving the profession i.e. not renewing practicing certificates in 2022 and 2023 is unacceptable” says Deborah. “The public however should be concerned with the numbers that are being touted as these are highly likely to be under-representative of the true picture and continue to include unvaccinated nurses willing to work, but unable to return to their vocation, even though our public health system is in crisis.”
“The number of nurses and midwives leaving service will continue to rise, as increasing numbers refuse Covid-19 boosters whilst others are unable to work due to vaccine injury. Add in those nurses who are simply overwhelmed, over-worked and over Covid and a bigger exodus awaits” says Deborah Cunliffe, who was interviewed recently about ongoing issues for nurses in New Zealand on realitycheck.radio.
“If we want to see real change in the nursing profession, we need to address key issues which include freedom of choice and informed consent for everyone, including our nurses and midwives” says Deborah. “It is evident that political manoeuvring is not the solution to the challenges faced by New Zealand Nurses and we need to question whether or not those entities currently claiming to be representative of nurses are actually fit for purpose.”