News > Yes We Care is a new community - health workforce coalition for better health funding.

Emergency Nurse Nico Woodward says health underfunding is New Zealand’s biggest health risk.

“I get as frustrated and angry as patients and families with emergency department delays," he says. "Not being able to care for someone, when you know you could if you were staffed properly, is distressing.”

Mr Woodward says health funding hasn’t kept up with an ageing and growing population.

The Council of Trade Unions (CTU) estimates the government has underfunded health by more than $1.85 billion.

New Zealand Nurses Organisation (NZNO) Industrial Advisor Lesley Harry says underfunding is now affecting patient safety.

"Poor access to care, care-rationing, health-worker burnout and strained infrastructure are now common," she says. "The 2016 Budget made it clear that the Government was not properly assessing current or future funding needs.”

Health underfunding roadshow

Mr Woodward has put his nursing career on hold to join's national roadshow.

The coalition is launching their campaign at 38 towns across the country to raise awareness about health underfunding.

The events will include local stories and 200 life size cut-outs of health workers missing due to underfunding.

The roadshow starts this Saturday 4 March in Bluff and finishes in Cape Reinga on Wednesday 29 March.

Click here for dates and further information.