The strong message shared with politicians this week that the Auckland’s public health system is at breaking point resonates with senior doctors and front line staff, says senior doctors’ union ASMS.

Angela Belich, Deputy Executive Director of the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists (ASMS), said front line staff see the consequences every day of the stress the system was under.

She was commenting on reports that hospital bosses from the Auckland district health boards told Parliament’s health select committee that the health system is feeling the pressure of underfunding and population growth, with unprecedented demand on acute services and staff struggling to cope

“This will come as no surprise to ASMS members, who are some of the most senior doctors in the country and have been telling us for some time about the realities of working in hospitals that are chronically under-funded and under-resourced,” said Belich.

“It’s good that politicians are also getting the message loud and clear from the people running our public hospitals as they, too, are struggling to ensure a high-quality health service while the cupboards are bare.

“The Government needs to address the longstanding challenges around workforce shortages and inadequate funding for our public health system, and it needs to start that work immediately. Winter’s just around the corner and that will put even more pressure on our hospitals, especially as they brace for the worse-than-usual northern hemisphere flu to make its way to New Zealand.”

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