Tuesday, April 22, 2008

This can't go on

It looks like Health Minister David Cunliffe's posturing that "it doesn't matter whether [the junior doctor's] strike lasts two days or two months, this Government is not going to fold" is going to be put to the test, with junior doctors issuing strike notices for further industrial action. There's no dates yet, but the next strike is almost certain to be longer than the current one. Which ought to be a very scary proposition - the current 48-hour strike has essentially meant that we have no public health system bar emergency services for a week. What will happen if they decide to strike for a week or more, or during the weekend rush?

This can't go on. People depend on these services. And if we want to continue to enjoy them, we simply have to pay the people who work in them properly. Otherwise, in the long-term we face a slow erosion of staff and service quality. A few years ago, labour seemed to understand this. Now, sadly, they have forgotten.