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Senior Doctors Push For Workforce Planning

“Senior Doctors Push For Workforce Planning To Overcome Unacceptable Delays To Specialist Assessments”

“Senior doctors are pushing for effective and practical workforce planning and development to help overcome the unacceptable delays facing patients waiting for their first specialist assessment,” said Mr Ian Powell, Executive Director of the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists, today. Mr Powell was responding to the report that over 25,000 New Zealanders were still waiting for their first specialist assessment at least six months after being referred by their general practitioners.

“This is unacceptable in a developed country like New Zealand. Behind each statistic is a patient facing anxiety, stress and in some cases discomfort and pain with the real risk that their health will further deteriorate. This is largely due to workforce shortages and the failure of the health system to adequately plan for recruitment and retention of health professionals. Workforce planning and development was ignored under the failed ideological experiment of the 1990s. Since 2000 it has now been recognised that workforce planning is necessary but little practical work has be made to ensure it happens.”

“Senior doctors have taken the initiative in their new national collective agreement. District health boards are to develop agreed plans with senior doctors for staffing levels and support for professional development and education plus new recruitment and retention strategies.”

“This initiative should go some way to ensure that patients receive the care and treatment that they deserve in a timely manner,” concluded Mr Powell.

Ian Powell


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