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Voluntary bonding popular with Hutt Valley nurses

Hon Tony Ryall
Minister of Health

3 August 2011

Voluntary bonding popular with Hutt Valley nurses

Seven nurses and four midwives have this year signed up to work in hard to staff areas in Hutt Valley DHB as part of the third intake of the Government's Voluntary Bonding Scheme.

They number amongst the 429 recent health graduates intending to work in hard to staff areas who've been accepted into the third year of the Scheme.

Health Minister Tony Ryall says, "Despite continuing financial constraints we've again managed to accept everyone who applied for the scheme. In total, we have around 1830 graduates on the Scheme nationwide"
Hutt Valley has now had around 18 recent graduates signed up on the scheme, including four midwives and at least fourteen nurses (district breakdowns of nursing numbers began in 2010).

The Government introduced voluntary bonding in 2009 as a way to encourage young doctors, nurses and midwives to work in hard to staff regions and specialties.

The scheme encourages health graduates to establish careers in hard to staff specialities and communities in New Zealand by offering student loan write-offs or cash incentives over three to five years.

This year mental health and aged care nursing were added to the hard to staff list.

"Workforce shortages are a major challenge in health, and schemes like this help keep young graduates here. It is great news the scheme is oversubscribed again this year."

ENDS

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