Labour’s immigration settings worsen health crisis

With New Zealand’s health system in disarray under Labour, desperately needed medical specialists left off the Immigration Green List should be granted residence immediately, National’s Dr Shane Reti and Erica Stanford say.

“It makes no sense in the middle of a health crisis that specialists including paediatricians, oncologists, neurologists and gastroenterologists, are not fast-tracked straight to residence,” National’s Health spokesperson Dr Shane Reti says.

“These specialists could save lives and alleviate some of the strain piling up on New Zealand’s health workforce.

“The Green List is not due to be reviewed until the middle of 2023. That is far too late for our healthcare system, which is battling dangerous staff shortages and delivering poorer health outcomes for New Zealanders as a result.”

National’s Immigration spokesperson Erica Stanford says the fact that these specialists are not already on the Green List shows just how poorly thought out the Labour Government’s immigration policies are.

“We are granting immediate residence to food technologists and graduates with PHDs in art history, but we continue forcing nurses to wait two years before they can even apply.

“Rather than waiting until the middle of next year to make any changes, Immigration Minister Michael Wood should conduct a full review of the pathway immediately and place medical specialists, nurses and midwives on the fast track straight to residence.

“Until this change is made, Kiwis will continue to wait longer for care that could save their lives.”