Levin turned on the stories today from people walking by on day 10 of the Yes We Care roadshow, before we headed up to Whanganui. We had people come by who had seen the cut-outs from their homes and from their cars, then came over to chat. It’s always refreshing to see how positively people react to our campaign, especially when we are in each area for such a short amount of time. Because ultimately, no matter you’re politics are, healthcare touches everyone at some point in their lives. And when that happens, people want and expect the best possible care.
People who work in health expect this as well, we don’t go into healthcare to do a mediocre job. Yet this is often what we’re forced to do just to get through our workloads. One staff member I talked to today talked about how he felt like we treat people like commodities, not like humans. There’s this push to get people sorted as quickly as possible, even when they may not have all the services or care needed to support them. Patients know when they’re getting the short end of the stick, and this leaves a bad taste in the mouth of both patients as well as those who work in health.
Another person I spoke to today talked about the way addictions were handled in the area. Due to a lack of staffing, people who were seeking help for their addictions were only able to be seen about two months after they came for help, not when they were asking for it. This meant that for many people, that moment when they were open to seeking help may have slipped past, and the moment is lost. How many people are missing out on the care they need, when they need it, because of underfunding? Too many, so this election year we need all political parties to commit to restoring lost underfunding, and adequately fund the health service to meet the needs of a growing and ageing population.