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Single shopfront needed for health recruitment

Hon Tony Ryall National Party Health Spokesman

16 March 2006

Single shopfront needed for health recruitment

New Zealand needs a single shopfront to recruit overseas health staff, says National's Health spokesman, Tony Ryall.

Mr Ryall revealed today in Parliament that 10 DHBs sent staff to a single health expo in London late last year.

"Ten DHBs were represented at the Opportunities New Zealand Expo in London in October. Some DHBs sent up to five staff each," says Mr Ryall.

"All but one of the DHBs went to a second expo in Manchester within a week.

"We estimate that about $2 million is being spent on overseas recruitment by DHBs. This money is being spent in an uncoordinated and fragmented way.

"Our DHBs are competing against each other overseas when they should be working together. It's a waste of money to have 10 DHBs flying halfway around the world to compete for staff.

There's a better way, and that is to look at a single shopfront, like NHS Careers in Britain, where one outfit recruits overseas staff into the NHS, and hospitals then use that pool.

"They use valuable tax dollars to maximum benefit and it's a lot easier for the health professionals.

"It's the New Zealand way to compete at home but work together overseas.

"Labour must stop this wasteful use of valuable health dollars. Mr Hodgon bangs on about coordination and collaboration, so now is the time to do it," says Mr Ryall.

ENDS


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