2023 | Volume 24 | Issue 2

Surgeons meet with AoNZ health minister

Surgeons meet with AoNZ health minister

Around 30 surgeons, men and women, from across the motu (country) joined the online International Women’s Day breakfast on 8 March to hear Health Minister Dr Ayesha Verrall speak.

The event was organised by general surgeon and past member of the Women in Surgery committee Dr Jane Strang. She worked with Dr Verrall at Wellington Hospital when they were both Trainees.

Attendees included RACS President Dr Sally Langley, Aotearoa New Zealand (AoNZ) National Committee Chair Associate Professor Andrew MacCormick, Surgical Advisors Dr Sarah Rennie and Professor Spencer Beasley, and College Councillors Dr Nicola Hill and Dr Maxine Ronald.

They were keen for the Minister to hear what it's like working on the front lines of the healthcare system and urged for immediate action on workforce shortages.

Surgeons described the situation as a crisis and warned of moral injury and burnout among colleagues.

Dr Verrall was sympathetic. She pointed to work the government has already done including recommendations from the Planned Care and Workforce Taskforces. Spend on health has increased 47 percent over the past five years putting an additional 2700 nurses and 1700 doctors into the system.

Dr Verrall opened the door for further discussion with the College.