• Posted on: 13/06/2024
  • 2 minutes to read
  • Tagged with: Public Service Ministry of Health

Government spending cuts will see 123 roles axed at Manatū Hauora Ministry of Health after final decisions were confirmed today.

"Our heart goes out to impacted workers whose lives are being turned upside down at Health and across the public sector as the Government continues on its rushed and reckless campaign of spending cuts," said Fleur Fitzsimons Assistant Secretary for the Public Service Association Te Pūkenga Here Tikanga Mahi.

Today’s decision affects around one in six positions at the Ministry. Specialist teams supporting clinical, community, and mental health have been downsized. Cuts include clinical leadership and at the team responsible for protection and rights of those receiving compulsory mental health treatment.

"At the very time when our health system is under pressure from a growing and ageing population, and as the cost medical technology grows, we should be investing in the very Ministry that provides the expert advice and support needed for an effective health system."

The Ministry is continuing with plans to downgrade full time roles at the Suicide Prevention Office but has reversed the decision to remove the Director’s role.

"We welcome the Ministry rethinking this decision and retaining Suicide Prevention leadership. But there is still an overall reduction in full time specialist staff - the responsibility for suicide prevention work will now be just a quarter of the workload of other staff in the mental health and addiction policy area. We hope the importance of this vital work is not diminished in this restructure.

"The PSA is also concerned that the full time Senior Advisor Māori role in the office is still being axed - that doesn’t make sense when the Māori suicide rate is 50% higher than the national rate.

"What this all amounts to is a serious loss of specialist health expertise that helps the health system meet the needs of New Zealanders. This yet another example of the high price to pay for the Government’s misguided plan to downsize the public service and fund tax cuts."