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More roster relief for rural doctors and nurses

More roster relief for rural doctors and nurses

Associate Minister of Health Damien O'Connor announced today the third of four rounds of funding to relieve rural doctors and nurses working onerous rosters.

Just under half a million dollars ($474,037) has been allocated over two years to a further 11 providers, bringing the total allocated so far to $3.96 million over two years, especially targeted at GPs and nurses who work in remote areas and are regularly on-call.

Mr O'Connor said the providers receiving funding this time were within the Bay of Plenty, Canterbury, Otago, Tairawhiti and Waikato district health board areas.

"So far providers in 12 DHBs that include many of the more remote areas in New Zealand have received this additional funding to relieve onerous rosters."

Applications for the reasonable roster funding were made through District Health Boards to the Ministry of Health, where they were assessed by a working group of Ministry and rural sector representatives.

Two-thirds were funded in the first round, and in the second round 15 of the 26 eligible applications received funding, including six that were deferred from the first round. In this round there were 19 applications, 11 of which were funded, three were ineligible and a further four have been deferred to the last round.

Funding for the final round of applications will be allocated later this year.

From July 1 2004, the responsibility for allocating primary healthcare funding will shift to Primary Health Organisations.

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