Public hospital doctors vote against having Te Whatu Ora pay for private health insurance

Only 40% of doctors agreed to it

Public hospital doctors vote against having Te Whatu Ora pay for private health insurance

Insurance News

By Abigail Adriatico

Senior doctors who work in public hospitals have opted to vote against asking the Health New Zealand – Te Whatu Ora to pay for their private health insurance, according to an article by Microsoft Start.

In order to have the request be included in a union claim, a majority of the doctors needed to vote in favour of it. However, only 40% backed it up.

The Association of Salaried Medical Specialists expressed frustration following the close vote.

“There are a number of our members who are worried about access to healthcare through the public system, and that was a slightly unusual expression or indirect expression of that frustration,” said Sarah Dalton, the association’s executive director.

She said that the vote had failed because it did not fit with the union’s mandate to advocate for good public healthcare for everyone.

“A number of members pointed out that senior doctors and dentists are probably better equipped given their salaries to provide for themselves in terms of private health insurance,” she said.

Dalton said that the reasons behind the union members’ votes were the belief that Health New Zealand was not a good employer of its staff, and that the public health system may not be able to cope with the demand.

She added that while the motion for private health insurance did not pass, it managed to raise questions regarding the health system and how it was funded. Dalton said that the government has failed in funding public healthcare and there needed to be conversations regarding this.

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