Chris Crawford.
Chris Crawford. Jay Cronan

Calls for action over 'unhealthy' health workers statement

DISCIPLINARY action has been called for after a northern NSW health official accused sick workers of "engaging in unhealthy lifestyles" in State Parliament.

The NSW Nurses Association has slammed Northern NSW Local Health District chief Chris Crawford for his wording in a "three-prong strategy" to reduce sick leave rates in a staff newsletter.

"Managers have reported that some staff are taking sick leave due to their general state of unwellness, resulting from their engaging in unhealthy lifestyles (eg smoking, excess drinking, overweightness, and being unfit)," he wrote.

Labor MP Walt Secord questioned whether the government would take any action over the statement.

"Does the government support this statement? Does the chief executive officer retain the government's full support?" he asked.

North Coast Minister Duncan Gray ducked questions over whether Mr Crawford would be chastised for the comments.

He said he would "pass on" the question to Minister for Health Jillian Skinner.