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Medical Workforce Shortages Must Be Addressed

Medical Workforce Shortages Must Be Addressed

New Zealand’s diminishing GP workforce, highlighted in a report released today by the Royal New Zealand College of GPs, is but one of the many shortages facing our medical workforce, says NZMA Chairman Dr Ross Boswell.

“We strongly support the College Of GP’s findings regarding the ageing of the GP workforce. There are not enough GPs coming through GP training to offset those who will soon be leaving general practice. New Zealand’s medical workforce is also facing shortages in many other specialties."

“The implications for New Zealand’s health system cannot be underestimated,” says Dr Boswell.

“We need an acknowledgment by Government that serious shortages in the medical workforce exist and that if not addressed they will get worse. The Government needs to take urgent action in putting together a plan to deal with the problem in a comprehensive, strategic way. The NZMA is eager to work with the Government on these issues.”

In addition to the RNZCGP paper on the GP workforce, other medical groups are also calling for urgent action.

The Medical Reference Group is in the process of finalising recommendations to the Government on how to address medical workforce shortages and the Medical Association has also made submissions to Government.

“We highlighted the need for better funding, training opportunities and working conditions to try to encourage more students into medicine and to persuade New Zealand doctors to stay and work here, and to encourage New Zealand doctors currently overseas to return,” says Dr Boswell.

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