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Report shows alarming trend

Report shows alarming trend

More medical graduates are leaving New Zealand, and this alarming trend cannot be allowed to continue, says Dr Tricia Briscoe, Chairman of the New Zealand Medical Association.

Data provided by the Medical Council shows that last year around 30 of every 100 graduates had left New Zealand by their third year after graduation.

"Over the last five years the problem has been getting worse," Dr Briscoe said. "The trend reversed in 2002, but that was probably a reaction to the events of September 11 2001, and it seems to have been a temporary blip."

The NZMA will soon be going to the Government with a series of short- and long-term options to address these issues.

The exodus of medical graduates is due to many reasons, including high student fees leading to high student debts, and the global shortage of doctors which has led to many overseas countries actively recruiting junior doctors and giving them better working conditions and salaries, Dr Briscoe said.

New Zealand doctors have always travelled and worked overseas, but the trend now is for them to go earlier and stay away longer or not return at all, leaving hard-to-fill gaps in the New Zealand health system, Dr Briscoe concluded.

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