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Training Our Doctors For Export

Training Our Doctors For Export

Monday 5 Apr 2004
Heather Roy
Press Releases -- Health


The New Zealand Medical Association's claims, and figures released by the New Zealand Medical Council, confirm what everyone thought to be true about number of newly graduated doctors heading overseas - we continue to train more and more doctors for export, ACT New Zealand Health Spokesman Heather Roy said today.

"For over a year, I have been trying to obtain figures on the number of health professionals leaving our shores, but the Health Ministry doesn't keep such data. The NZMC seems to be the only body keeping track, and their figures are based solely on the numbers holding practising certificates on an annual basis," Mrs Roy said.

"In response to my sustained questioning, Health Minister Annette King claims it would be too hard to monitor who enters and leaves the country, and that privacy issues are involved. This is a cop out. It is not only our new graduates who are leaving - our experienced doctors are also leaving our shores for better pay and working conditions.

"The reality is that acknowledging the extent of the problem, and keeping a check on it, means that Labour would actually have to do something. This Government does not want to admit that there is a problem - which could, in part, be solved by the private sector.

"A thriving private health sector would shift the emphasis for doctors who - if allowed to work hard and be paid appropriately - would choose to remain in New Zealand. Labour, however, simply expects doctors to work hard.

"It is not privacy issues that prevents Labour from keeping figures on how many health professionals are leaving New Zealand. Their philosophical opposition to private healthcare means that it is driving more of our medical practitioners overseas in search of greener pastures - even our newest doctors," Mrs Roy said.

ENDS

For more information visit ACT online at http://www.act.org.nz or contact the ACT Parliamentary Office at act@parliament.govt.nz.


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