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World Health focus on Workforce Development

The time has never been better for school leavers to consider a career in health, Health Minister Pete Hodgson said today.

"Today is World Health Day which this year focuses on health workforce," said Pete Hodgson.

"It is an ideal time to remind our young people that health is a hugely satisfying area in which to work. It is also more rewarding financially than it has been for over a decade. Under this Labour-led government health professionals' salary and wage rates increased 7.3 percent in the year to the December 2005* alone,"

"Health professionals make huge sacrifices to serve their communities. We need to all we can to recognise their work and ensure that it is viewed with the gratitude and respect it deserves. There are predictions that if health and disability services retain their share of the working-age population, demand for labour will outstrip supply by 2011. While this is a challenge internationally, the Ministry of Health, along with District Health Boards, is already working hard to ensure that workforce shortages will be managed and addressed effectively," says Pete Hodgson.

*December 2005 quarterly employment survey released by Statistics NZ 8 Feb


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