The Aged Care Association (ACA) welcomes National’s health workforce policy.

ACA chief executive Simon Wallace says the policy is well targeted and will support the aged care sector to recruit the nurses it desperately needs.

Simon Wallace says, “The sector is short of 1,200 nurses, almost a quarter of its nursing workforce, and that has led to the closure of 1,260 care beds over the past year. Nurses are the bedrock of the aged care sector, without them older New Zealanders will not get the care they need, when they need it.”

“We are pleased that National’s health spokesperson, Dr Shane Reti has taken the time to understand the issues and has developed policy that will allow facility managers to fill vacancies.”

“Financial incentives are needed to encourage more New Zealanders to train as nurses and this policy does exactly that. It will allow the people who wish to begin a nursing career to undertake their studies without the financial barriers.”

“The immigration component of today’s announcement is also welcome. Giving the families of migrant nurses’ work and study rights is a huge boost for these workers, they can now settle in New Zealand right away,” Simon Wallace says.

“These policies are a big step in the right direction for the aged care workforce. We encourage all political parties to prioritise aged care in their election manifestos – not only staffing but funding and the provision of care.”

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