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GP training numbers to increase

Hon Tony Ryall Minister of Health Minister of State Services


4 December 2008

Media Release

GP training numbers to increase

Minister of Health Tony Ryall says the Government has approved an increase in the number of GP training places.

There will be 25 additional GP trainee places in 2009, with a further 25 places funded by 2010.

Tony Ryall said, "I met with the Director-General of Health a fortnight ago when it became clear there were more applicants for GP training than funded places. New Zealand needs more GPs, so the Government has approved funding for all approved applicants. The additional cost of training these GPs is estimated to be in the region of $1.5 million."

This contract is currently being negotiated between the Ministry of Health and the College of GPs. The training is planned to start early in 2009.

"The Government plans to further expand the number of funded GP training places in 2010 to 154, and we have budgeted funds to pay for this, taking into account the additional costs GP Practices face when they take on a GP registrar," Mr Ryall said.

"Our policy of more doctors and more GP training is part of National's comprehensive workforce plan. It supplements our Voluntary Bonding policy, which will provide student loan write-offs for qualifying doctors, nurses and midwives who agree to work for three to five years in "hard to staff" areas or specialties. Announcements on voluntary bonding can be expected early next year.

These workforce initiatives are in line with our plan to reduce bureaucracy and shift more health spending into frontline care for patients."

ENDS

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