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Junior Doctors Settlement Welcomed

The New Zealand Medical Association welcomes the news that the junior doctors have settled their employment dispute with many of the country's public hospitals.

"This is good news for patients and hospital doctors - both senior and junior," said NZMA Chairman Dr Pippa MacKay. "The doctors can now get on with their job of caring for their patients, which is what they want to do."

However, the NZMA still has grave concerns that the settlement will not be enough to retain enough junior doctors in New Zealand to staff our hospitals.

"While it's a step in the right direction, the health workforce is still heading for a crisis," Dr MacKay said. "This settlement should help stem the exodus of junior doctors from New Zealand, but there are still immense pressures on them, particularly with regard to their huge levels of debt. Recruitment agencies from the UK are also offering junior doctors substantial salaries to move.

"Now that much of the industrial dispute has been resolved, the NZMA calls on Health Minister Annette King to sit down with the medical profession over the next few weeks and seriously discuss how we can make progress on solving the health workforce crisis," Dr MacKay concluded.

Ends

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