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Early start to eventual solution

Media release from the Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners.

3 October 2006

Early start to eventual solution

The College is delighted Minister of Health Pete Hodgson is following his own call for action, and taking a first positive move to help ease the GP shortage by announcing 15 additional GP registrar training places for 2007-8.

The Minister announced the change earlier today.

“While the extra 15 places won’t solve the current shortage, they give an earlier start to addressing the issue,” CEO Karen Thomas said.

“Next year’s intake has already been finalised and so we will act quickly to identify the additional 15 registrars,” Ms Thomas said.

“This boost in numbers means that at the end of next year we will have 69 highly trained GP registrars ready for advanced GP training."

Just back from a study tour of GP training in other countries, Ms Thomas said the NZ training programme compared very well internationally.

“New Zealanders should know their GPs are trained to very high standards to ensure that Kiwis get the best of care."

Of the 69 registrar places, 15 will attract a rural scholarship, demonstrating the importance of the rural environment for general practice training.

The College hopes the CTA review, being conducted in partnership with the College, will further address workforce capacity issues.

“The College has put a lot of work into quantifying the GP shortage, and we are very pleased the Minister has made the first move even before the CTA review is finished,” College President Dr Jonathan Fox said.


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