Media release 24 July 2019 | Comments made today by APEX (Allied Scientific and Technical union) that patients at Middlemore Hospital are waiting weeks for x-rays and CT scans because of staffing shortages are both alarmist and disappointing.
Counties Manukau Health Chief Executive, Fepulea’i Margie Apa, says the union is in the middle of bargaining with all 20 DHBs and should be talking to DHB representatives, not trying to negotiate through the media.
“The union knows full-well that it is common for Counties Manukau Health, and other DHBs, to experience shortages of Medical Imaging Technologists (MIT) at this time of year, as staff head overseas for their OEs in the UK summer,” she says.
“The majority of these vacancies start in March/April and continue through our winter season”.
Counties Manukau Health currently has 14 permanent MIT vacancies, but this is off-set by a very strong pool of bureau staff to minimise the gaps in shifts. Currently, CM Health has made 4 contract offers; has 14 applications in progress and 5 others referred to the regulatory body for MRT’s to check on their ability to gain registration in New Zealand. These applicants are mostly from overseas.
“The MRI waitlist is the lowest it has been in two years, despite the union’s claims that staffing shortages are causing delays,” says Ms Apa. “And the CT waitlist is under control with over 93% of patients being scanned within 6 weeks which is meeting our Ministry targets.”
She says other claims made by APEX are also incorrect.
“APEX is aware of the mitigation and recruitment activities currently underway and it is extremely disappointing that information about the workforce shared as part of our partnership meetings with them is being used publicly to try to further their bargaining claims.”
A media release about the MRI waiting list was published on 9 July
Issued by: CM Health Communications
Media Line: 09 250 9857 Email: Communications@middlemore.co.nz