Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


GP training funding increase needed - Greens

12 December 2005

GP training funding increase needed - Greens

The Green Party is calling for the Government to immediately double the number of funded places for doctors wanting to train as General Practitioners and phase out the tertiary fees and student loan debts that are driving doctors off shore.

The Royal New Zealand College of GPs today revealed in the results of a survey that it has to turn away more than half of the applicants for the 54 Government-funded places on its training programme.

"It's a good sign that more doctors are expressing an interest in becoming GPs, but it is a terrible mistake to be missing this opportunity to increase the workforce due to lack of funded places, especially when we are experiencing a shortage that threatens to leave some New Zealanders without a doctor.

"The Government should also reintroduce scholarships for Maori and Pacific Island doctors, and each year adjust the number of funded places to meet demand - for training and for GPs."

The survey showed stress and long hours are key factors in discouraging doctors to become GPs and driving them to consider working overseas. This should finally lead to action being taken to address what has been a serious problem within the health system for a long time, Ms Kedgley says.

"We do not want our doctors leaving the country because they are so stressed and overworked here that they are being forced to make incredibly important decisions under severely compromised conditions."

A greater focus on prevention, and more involvement of nurses in preventative clinics, would lighten the burden on doctors. For example, nurse-run diabetes, respiratory and nutrition clinics could target at-risk groups, provide a career development opportunity for nurses and reduce the workload on doctors.

Despite being interest free, huge student loans are also likely to be driving graduates off shore where they can make more money.

"Until we stop our students getting into so much debt in the first place, no matter what else we do, there will be an incentive to go overseas where the best money is, Ms Kedgley says.

"We need to get rid of the enormous tertiary fees which are hurting our health system, and invest in a future where every New Zealander can access the medical care they need.

"The Green Party believes that it is only by providing sufficient funding for training, putting more resources into prevention, such as nurse-led clinics, and addressing student loans, that we will be able to meet New Zealand's future medical needs," Ms Kedgley says.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Supreme Court: Worksafe Decision On Whittall Pike River Prosecution Unlawful

The question in issue on the appeal was whether WorkSafe New Zealand acted to give effect to an unlawful agreement of this nature when it offered no evidence on charges against Peter William Whittall for breaches of the Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992...

The Supreme Court... has found that the decision to offer no evidence was made under an unlawful agreement to stifle prosecution. It has granted a declaration to that effect. More>>


Cullen To Chair: Tax Working Group Terms Of Reference Announced

Finance Minister Grant Robertson and Revenue Minister Stuart Nash today announced the Terms of Reference for the Tax Working Group and that the Group will be chaired by Sir Michael Cullen. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The New Pike River Agency (And The Air Strike Wing)

Much of the sympathy the public still feels for the families of the Pike River miners has been sustained by the sense that the previous government – let alone the mining company and the processes of receivership and litigation – has never dealt honestly, or fairly, with them. More>>


Not Going Swimmingly: Contractor Cut, New Dates For Christchurch Sports Centre

“As an incoming Minister, I have been conducting a thorough review of progress on the Anchor projects and to learn of a $75 million budget blowout on this project was very disappointing..." More>>


Tertiary: Allowances, Loan Living Costs To Get Boost

“From 1 January, student allowance base rates and the maximum amount students can borrow for living costs will rise by a net $50 a week,” says Education Minister Chris Hipkins... further adjusted from 1 April 2018 in line with any increase in the CPI. More>>


Foreign Affairs: Patrick Gower Interviews Jacinda Ardern

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says discussions have already begun on how to bring climate change refugees into New Zealand under a Pacific seasonal employment plan... More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The Centre Right’s Love Of ‘Nanny State’

You’d almost think it was 2005 again. That was a time when the rugged individualists of the centre-right were being beset by government regulations on the nature of light-bulbs, the size of shower heads, the junk food available at school tuck shops and other such essentials... More>>




Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election