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Robson's Bill On Doctor Recruiting

Matt Robson welcomes the adoption of his private members bill for action to get skilled overseas doctors into New Zealand hospitals.

Minister of Health Annette King will announce a package on Thursday to get at least 150 of the 300 doctors into hospitals by the end of the year.

Matt Robson has championed the cause of these highly skilled overseas doctors over recent years. He proposed a bill last year which would have helped the immigrant doctors get training and registration.

"It was simply unfair and a waste of resources when many were encouraged to come to New Zealand, only to find they needed to take another exam and do further training, but were unable to because of lack of funding."

Matt Robson, also a patron of the doctor's society, presented a paper to cabinet this year through Annette King and is pleased to see his basic proposals now adopted.

"There's still more to be done, but this is a start. I'm proud to be a member of the government that finally delivered on this issue. This is one of those days when you realise a day in government is worth a hundred in opposition," says Matt Robson.

"I've seen the trauma that overseas doctors have gone through to get this far and it's been a moral responsibility to do something about it.

"Now at last these doctors can begin to come off the dole, give up the pizza deliveries, the taxi driving and begin putting their extensive experience to use where we most need it: in our drastically under-staffed health system.

Further comment: Josie Harbutt, press sec. 025 5888 60 (04 470 6676)
Department of Corrections Comms. Unit 04 499 5620

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