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Future Doctors Concerned About Health Workforce Strategy

Future Doctors Raise Concerns about Health Workforce Strategy

The New Zealand Medical Students’ Association (NZMSA) applauds the Government’s commitment of junior doctor jobs for all domestic graduates. President Phillip Chao says “Given that training a doctor costs roughly $400,000 it is essential we continue to provide sufficient junior doctor positions to convert this investment into the senior doctors New Zealand needs.” NZMSA firmly believes shortages in junior doctor training places will hamper New Zealand’s ability to produce the senior doctors required to care for New Zealand’s growing and aging population.

However, NZMSA notes their alarm over the last-minute delay of job offers caused by a shortage of first year doctor positions this year.  “A delay while sufficient jobs are secured indicates we need a coherent strategy to ensure there will be enough jobs for increasing cohorts of medical students in the future” says Phillip Chao. New Zealand medical schools are estimated to graduate a total of 105 additional domestic doctors by 2017, an increase of 27% over current graduates.

Unfortunately, providing first year positions for all domestic graduates has shut all international students graduating from New Zealand medical schools out of jobs, despite having paid over $300,000 to our universities to train. “These students are talented graduates who have been trained for New Zealand’s population and health context. Ultimately New Zealand misses out by turning these students away who have contributed to our tertiary sector and wish to practice here” says Phillip Chao.


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