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More training places for general practitioners

Hon Pete Hodgson
Minister of Health

3 October 2006 Media Statement

More training places for general practitioners

The Labour-led government will invest $2 million to increase the number of GP training places by over 25 per cent for each of the next two training years, Health Minister Pete Hodgson announced today.

15 extra places will be funded bringing the total number of GP Registrars to 69 per annum.

Early indications from the Clinical Training Agency's (CTAs) review of GP training and evidence from the Royal New Zealand College of GPs workforce survey show an increasing need to fund more GP registrars, especially in rural areas around the country.

"Over the past seven years, the Labour-led government has made primary health care a top priority," Pete Hodgson said. "We invested heavily in lowering the cost of seeing the family doctor and in helping to ensure practices are on a sound footing.

"The Ministry of Health has already announced that GP training is under review. That comprehensive review will continue, but with early indications showing more GP training places are needed – especially in rural areas – there is no reason we can't start delivering solutions today.

"The 15 extra registrars will be targeted for placements in rural practices, where we know we're going to need to encourage more young GPs to set up shop in the future."

The government will spend around $1 million a year to fund these extra placements, taking the total cost of running the GP training programme to around $6 million per annum.

"The Royal New Zealand College of GPs does an excellent job at facilitating the government's GP training programme and this extra funding will go a long way to ensuring the organisation continues meeting its demands."

ENDS

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