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When Will Something Be Done For Overseas Doctors?

7 March 2000


United New Zealand Party leader, Hon Peter Dunne, is calling on the Government to live up to its pre-election pledges to ease the plight of overseas doctors unable to practice in New Zealand.

“Before the election both Labour and the Alliance made strong commitments on this issue, and many overseas doctors are now asking me what has happened, and why the promises have not yet been kept.”

“I understand that Alliance Minister Matt Robson has raised the issue in Cabinet, but so far nothing has been heard from the Minister of Health about the Government’s intentions,” Mr Dunne says.

Mr Dunne says the mounting impatience and frustration of the overseas doctors is perfectly understandable.

“These people have come to New Zealand believing in good faith that they can practice medicine here and it is not their fault they have been misled and now face huge problems in gaining registration.”

“Under the previous Government, there was frustration that not enough appeared to be being done to resolve the problem, but there was genuine hope that the new Government would move rapidly to resolve the issue.”

“So far these hopes have been dashed, and it looks like the health bureaucracy has triumphed once again over the overseas doctors and the wider public interest,” he says.

Mr Dunne is calling on the Minister of Health to make resolving the overseas doctors problem an urgent priority and to bring legislation to the next session of Parliament to deal with it.

“I have no doubt at all a strong majority of MPs from all Parties want to see this problem resolved and would support constructive efforts to do so.”

“The ball is now firmly in the Minister’s court and it is high time she acted,” he says.

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