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Andrew Dickens: I'm looking forward to Budget Week

Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Mon, 27 May 2024, 4:10pm
Photo / Mark Mitchell
Photo / Mark Mitchell

Andrew Dickens: I'm looking forward to Budget Week

Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Mon, 27 May 2024, 4:10pm

Welcome to Budget Week. Which I am looking forward to.

After all the warnings from economists and world agencies like the OECD, that this is the wrong part of an economic cycle to bring in tax cuts, it ill be interesting to see the way they're going to pull it off.

Personally, I can't see the budget being nearly as harsh, nearly as radical or nearly as transformational and beneficial as all the politicians say.

I've already decided to call it the bad day at the office budget. Which we'll all get through.

Meanwhile, we're getting little bones thrown at us to keep the headlines flowing. $50 million odd to hire teachers feels like a small change when you look at the entire education wage budget.

My grizzle today is about doctors. The Waikato times weekend paper featured a couple of young doctors at Waikato Hospital and their impossible workload.

Both are just 27 years old, 4 years out of school. 10 years into learning their trade.

One ended out working alone on a cardiology ward with 100 patients in it. There should have been 3 doctors on duty.

The other, a medical registrar, told a similar story about how patients in agony in E.D spent 12 hours waiting for care.

Things are not getting better anytime soon. The population is growing, people are living longer, patients are getting sicker and arrive more sick because they haven't seen a GP. Because there's not enough GPs either.

Meanwhile our underpaid, over worked 27 year olds have 6 figure student loans to pay off. So when choosing their specialty they often choose the better paying so good by psychiatry, hello dermatology.

This perfect storm of dysfunction is the result of decisions made a long time ago. Not just the last regime.

Student debt dissuades many except the determined or the already wealthy. Limiting our doctors' numbers.

Immigration has been allowed to blow out for decades without any increase in doctors in training. So fewer doctors per person

Entry numbers to med school are still embarrassingly low. So once again fewer doctors

What have we been thinking for the past 40 years?

We have a malaise.

Not enough doctors, teachers, police, houses, roads, public transport, energy generation. The list goes on.

We're like a 2 bedroom shack trying to house 10 people in it.

But every 3 years someone comes in and wallpapers one room.


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