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New Zealand needs to retain more Veterinarians

New Zealand needs to retain more Veterinarians

More than a third of the graduates from Massey University over the last 14 years are not currently practising in New Zealand, the Veterinary Council of New Zealand reports.

Chair Ron Gibson says that only 62% of new graduate veterinarians from Massey University have remained in the New Zealand veterinary work force.

“Many of these are now practising overseas, where the lure of higher remuneration is too attractive to resist in the face of a large student loan,” he said.

The lowest retention rate is for those who registered in 2001, 2002 and 2003 with slightly less than 50% still practising in New Zealand.

Dr Gibson said that this trend represents a significant loss of highly skilled resource, especially at a time when the profession and agriculture have expressed serious concerns about the shortage of veterinarians, in particular in the rural sector.

“Active strategies and incentives are needed to keep veterinarians in New Zealand and to attract Massey graduates back home,” he suggests.

The rural veterinarian shortage is to be discussed next month at a meeting with the Minister of Agriculture and Forestry, MAF officials and representatives of the Veterinary Association and Veterinary Council.

Dr Gibson said these statistics showing the exodus of young and able veterinarians are particularly poignant as Saturday 26 April is World Veterinary Day.



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