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Rural GP locums touch down in NZ

Rural GP locums touch down

Associate Health Minister Damien O'Connor today met with five overseas doctors here to provide locum support in rural communities.

From left to right, Dr Brian Young, from Nottingham; Associate Health Minister Damien O'Connor, Dr Jennifer Wong, from Canada (front); Dr Mark Cullen from Cambridge; Dr Nick Cartmell from Oxford, and Dr Jan Van Hollebeke from Belgium.

The five were recruited by the New Zealand Rural General Practice Network's recruitment arm, NZLocums, which is government funded.

The doctors - from Cambridge, Nottingham, Oxford, Canada and Belgium - were in Wellington this week for induction training before heading to rural areas to practice over the next few months.

They'll put their skills to use in such areas as Waihi, Winton, Kaipara, Fiordland and Gore (see attached document for full details of placements).

Mr O'Connor said their arrival was great news.

"It's common knowledge that many rural areas are facing serious GP shortages, with the demand for locums often outstripping the local supply. The Network has done a brilliant job scouting and recruiting these five, who are all highly qualified, experienced doctors."

The recruitments are part of NZLocum's short-term service; four of the doctors are here just for a few months, with one, Dr Nick Cartmell, here for a year. NZLocums also facilitates long term and permanent placements.

Rural GP Network CEO Adrienne Harris said the doctors would be providing much-needed relief.

"All five doctors are providing desperately needed short-term cover and they're going to be of huge benefit to the communities. Also, we find that GPs coming out here for short terms really enjoy their time here and a number return. Even better, some remain permanently."

Meanwhile, the Network continued to work on long-term solutions to GP shortages, Ms Harris said.

Locum placements

Dr Mark Cullen from the UK, MB ChB Cambridge 1982 , MRCGP 1985 Attending orientation week - 11 October to 15 October 2004 First Placement: Wahi Health Centre, 18 October to 12 December 2004 (providing locum cover for 3 doctors during this period)

Dr Jennifer Wong, MD Western Ontario 2000 Attending orientation week - 11 October to 15 October 2004 First Placement: Winton Medical Centre, 18 October 2004 to 31 October 2004 Second Placement: Wellsford Medical Centre, 05 November 2004 to 19 November 2004

Dr Brian Young, MB BS Nottingham 1980, MRCGP 1984 Attending orientation week - 11 October to 15 October 2004 First Placement: Barraud Street Health Centre, 18 October 2004 to 28 November 2004 Second Placement: Kaipara Medical Centre, 06 December 2004 to 09 January 2005 (providing locum cover for 2 doctors during this period)

Dr Nick Cartmell, MB ChB Oxford 1995, MRCGP Attending orientation week - 11 October to 15 October 2004 First Placement: Gore Medical Centre, 18 October 2004 to 07 November 2004 Second Placement: Fiordland Medical Centre, 08 November 2004 to 19 December 2004 Third Placement: Tokoroa Health Ltd, 05 January 2005 to 30 January 2005 Dr Cartmell is in New Zealand for 12 Months

Dr Jan Van Hollebeke, MD Leuven 2001, MRCGP Attending orientation week - 11 October to 15 October 2004 First Placement: Waiuku Doctors Surgery, 18 October to 28 November 2004 (providing locum cover for 3 doctors during this period) Second Placement: West Coast Health Centre, 13 December 2004 to 09 January 2005 Third Placement: Central Medical Motueka, 10 January 2005 to 30 January 2005

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