Around a hundred cardboard cut-outs of staff silhouettes are being put up outside Auckland City Hospital to represent missing health workers.
The Public Service Association says 642 staff were planned for but not employed, across Auckland's three district health boards this financial year.
They include 173 doctors and 100 nurses.
Mental health worker and PSA representative Andy Colwell hopes the cut-outs will show how bad understaffing and overwork has become.
"642 missing health workers in seven months is appalling, but it doesn't even scratch the surface," he says.
"These figures don't even include understaffing for the past six years due to the Government's $1.7 billion in underfunding."
Mr Colwell says health workers are working harder, longer and often for free because they are so understaffed.
The plastic cut-outs are due to be displayed outside the Park Road entrance until 2pm today.