Austerity, new public management and missed nursing care in Australia and New Zealand

Eileen Willis, Jenny Carryer, Clare Harvey, Maria Pearson, Julie Henderson

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    36 Citations (Scopus)


    Aims: To outline the way the culture of austerity arising from the Global Financial Crisis has been used by Australian and New Zealand governments to maintain and extend healthcare budget cuts, through new public management strategies leading to missed nursing care. Background: Ten years on the cost of the Global Financial Crisis continues to be borne by tax payers and those employed by the welfare state, yet analysis shows clearly that it was caused by a failure to adequately regulate markets, particularly the banks and multinational corporations. In health care, one of the impacts is increased workload for nurses leading to missed care. Design/Methods: Registered Nurses and midwives (n = 7,302) completed the MISSCARE surveys between 2012 - 2015, in four Australian states and New Zealand providing quantitative and qualitative responses. The qualitative comments were analysed using a template analysis approach based on key features of New Public Management. Findings: Sixty-two qualitative responses identified measures in place directly linked to austerity and new public management strategies that impacted on the quality of patient care and nursing work, as well as contributing to missed care. Conclusion: Opportunities for resistance may lie outside public and private health organizations in civil society, in the nurse union movements and other health and nursing professional associations.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)3102-3110
    Number of pages9
    JournalJournal of Advanced Nursing
    Issue number12
    Early online date2017
    Publication statusPublished - Dec 2017


    • austerity
    • casualization
    • civil society
    • global financial crisis
    • missed care
    • new public management
    • nurses
    • precarious work
    • public sector


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