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Overseas Doctors In Shortage Areas Scheme Proposed

26 October 1999


United New Zealand leader, Hon Peter Dunne, is calling for a new temporary registration scheme for overseas doctors prepared to work in areas where there are doctor shortages.

Mr Dunne says the weekend’s call by South Island Mayors for more concerted moves to relieve doctor shortages in isolated areas calls for later solutions.

“It is crazy that we have a large pool of overseas doctors unable to gain registration to work in this country, while, at the same time, many New Zealand communities are without access to adequate medical cover.”

“I am suggesting the Government and the Medical Council develop an urgent temporary registration programme to enable doctors prepared to work in areas where there is presently full medical coverage to obtain a form of registration to enable them to do so, under a form of external supervision.”

“This should not be seen as a back-door way of fast-tracking registration, but rather as a temporary expedient to help deal with particular areas of shortage.”

“The form of registration could impose particular limits on the doctor, or supervision requirements, while wider registration issues are resolved,” he says.

Mr Dunne says his plan is about both enabling overseas-trained doctors to practise their skills while awaiting registration, and meeting genuine community needs.

“At the moment, there are many overseas trained doctors working as taxi drivers or in takeaway bars, while parts of New Zealand are without adequate medical cover.”

“That is absurd, and I am proposing a more lateral approach that can meet the needs of both the doctors themselves, and communities in need,” he says.


New Zealand’s Liberal Party

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