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Incentivise More Professionals Into Rural Practice

New Zealand Rural General Practice Network
Media release
Tuesday, 28 May 2008


INCENTIVISE MORE HEALTH PROFESSIONALS INTO RURAL PRACTICE, SAYS NZRGPN

The New Zealand Rural General Practice Network has welcomed the announcement by John Key that medical graduates could be incentivised to work in rural areas.

Network chairperson, Kirsty Murrell-McMillan, said the focus on rural health issues was particularly important.

“The rural sector is still the backbone of our economy and it’s the area of greatest need when it comes to health resources,” Ms Murrell-McMillan said.

“Rural health practitioners face a very real and rapidly growing struggle to provide the resources and the care that rural communities desperately need.”

She said the Network has been advocating for this kind of incentivisation approach for some eight years.

“While we are naturally very supportive of the concept in principle, the devil’s in the detail, however.

“We need arrangements that are flexible enough to suit candidates who would provide local solutions for local areas, and conditions that encourage the further development of the rural health workforce

“Any scheme would need considerable consultation with all stakeholders in order to provide and support the particular infrastructure needed in rural areas.

“Providing solutions that focus on debt reduction for health graduates wishing to work in rural areas is a good start.”

ENDS

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