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Dunne: Govt has interns working for $2.83 per hour

Tuesday, 15 March 2005

Dunne: Govt has interns working for $2.83 per hour

United Future leader Peter Dunne today called on the Government to up the trainee intern grant for medical students that effectively pays them $2.83 an hour before the 82 percent of them who say they will leave New Zealand because of their student debt make good on that promise.

“They face $10,000 a year in fees, yet the sum paid final year medical students working in hospitals hasn’t increased in a decade - it is little wonder that so many wish to leave,” Mr Dunne said.

He said that if the notoriously over-worked interns didn’t further stretch themselves with part-time work or receive a student allowance, “they find themselves working for the princely sum of $2.83 an hour with the grant at its current level of $16,800.

“That is not just an injustice, it is an absolute insult,” he said.

In Parliament, Mr Dunne challenged Tertiary Education Minister Trevor Mallard three times to commit the Government to addressing the issue, but each time Mr Mallard refused to do so.

“The Government needs to make a $3.2 million investment in this grant now to boost it to cover the $10,000 fees of final year students.

“Then some young doctors might stay in New Zealand to serve the health needs of the New Zealand communities from which they have come,” he said.

ENDS

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