Will this get us the nurse we need?
National's track history in health spending saw funding decline in real terms and puts future pay equity settlements for nurses and health workers at risk. Under the last National government, between 2008 and 2017 hospital nurses' pay rates increased by only 15.4% over 9 years. That's a 1.7% average increase per year. National has promised annual increases in frontline spending in health to match inflation but has not made any commitments to ensuring pay lifts that value all nurses and health workers. What attracts people, overseas and at home, to work in Aotearoa is decent pay and working conditions to keep them in the job. We need explicit commitments that National will fund health workers' pay and guarantee safe staffing.