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Associate Minister backs international recruiting

5 September 2002

Associate Minister backs international recruiting

Associate Rural Affairs Minister Damien O'Connor has welcomed an initiative by the Rural GPs Network to recruit doctors from overseas.

"The Government is supportive of measures taken by groups who know best how to make progress in this challenging area. I think the Rural GPs Network is best placed to tackle this issue."

The Rural GP Network is about to embark on a mission to the UK and Ireland to recruit GPs to come and work as locums or relief doctors here. It hopes to attract about 20 GPs to help reduce a shortage of doctors in rural New Zealand

Mr O'Connor said that many people in the United Kingdom and Ireland envied New Zealanders their lifestyle, and there was no reason to think that British and Irish doctors would be any different.

"I'm hopeful that this initiative will be successful.

"The reality is that medicine is a global sector. Countries recruit in other countries, and the situation here is no different from other countries."

Mr O'Connor said he was well aware of the need for medical services in provincial and rural New Zealand, and he welcomed the Rural GPs Network initiative in doing something about it.


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