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Health boards have role in addressing shortages

Feb. 3, 2005

Hon Jim Anderton MP, Progressive Leader

Health boards have role in addressing doctor shortages – Progressive

A call today from the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists for district health boards to offer more doctors the chance of direct salaried employment has the backing of Progressive leader, Jim Anderton.

"I agree with the sentiments expressed by the Association. There are regions of our country where people say there aren't enough general practitioners.

"Health Boards, which are responsible for meeting the public health service needs of our regions, can have a positive role to play," the Progressive leader said.

The Association of Salaried Medical Specialists today said other district health boards should follow the example of the West Coast DHB which is advertising for salaried GPs to be employed under the recently negotiated national collective agreement covering senior doctors employed by DHBs.

"Access to a doctor is a case of basic human need. The new senior doctors’ national collective agreement may help encourage GPs to take up salaried employment with DHBs for the benefit of families and their communities," Jim Anderton said.

The Progressive Party is campaigning in this year's general election promoting a policy for the government to pay graduates' student loan repayments in return for graduates staying and working in New Zealand.

The Progressive Party believes there is scope for District Health Boards to consider adopting a similar policy themselves – offer to pay-off graduate GPs' student loans in return for the graduates' commitment to work in their district.

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