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Ground breaking training partnership for rural doctors

Hon Tony Ryall
Minister of Health
Hon Anne Tolley
Minister of Education

1 September

Ground breaking training partnership for rural doctors and nurses

Health Minister Tony Ryall and Education Minister Anne Tolley have launched a partnership with the Universities of Auckland and Otago that will train more doctors and nurses and other health professionals at Gisborne and Whakatane Hospitals.

The partnership is part of a new $4.5 million programme to train health students in rural areas so that they will return to work in rural communities.

"Over the next three years an estimated 300 plus student doctors, nurses, pharmacists, physiotherapists and dentists will train side by side, in the classroom and out on the job at Whakatane and Gisborne Hospitals" says Mrs Tolley.

Launching the scheme today at Whakatane Hospital, Mrs Tolley says “Many New Zealand rural communities and hospitals have struggled to attract and retain health professionals.

"This scheme will open up new career opportunities for students from rural areas, as well as encouraging students to work in rural areas once qualified," says Mr Ryall.

"Experience overseas suggests that health students who train in rural areas are more likely to return to work in rural areas."

Mr Ryall says that for the first time, the University of Otago and the University of Auckland Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences are collaborating to provide the multidisciplinary training programmes based in Gisborne and Whakatane Hospitals.

"The University of Auckland programme will be based in Whakatane and will provide training for about 144 medicine, nursing, pharmacy and physiotherapy students over three years.

"The University of Otago programme will be based in Gisborne and will provide training provision for around 168 medicine, nursing, pharmacy, physiotherapy and dentistry students.

The Government is providing $4.5 million over three years from 2012 to develop and deliver the programme. Both Universities will also contribute financially, working in partnership with Health Workforce New Zealand.


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