Physiotherapists Left Off Green List, Yet Again
Physiotherapy New Zealand is extremely disappointed that physiotherapists and other allied health workers have not been included in the new immigration settings announced by the government today.
Some healthcare workers, including nurses and midwives have been added to the green list, which allows for immediate residency, making it easier for employers to attract and hire overseas professionals. Despite a nationwide shortage of physiotherapists, they are not on the list.
PNZ President Mark Quinn says the shortage of physiotherapists has been made worse by the limited intake in physios over the past few years and that has had an impact on the public and private health sectors.
“For some time now we have been talking to health officials about the need to attract physiotherapists from overseas but our pleas have fallen on deaf ears. Physio’s workloads have been increasing as we are seeing more and more patients as a result of injuries, treatment to prevent falls, children with disabilities, and managing Long COVID.
“We know that physiotherapy can keep New Zealanders healthier and more active which plays a significant part in reducing the need for more acute care and hospital admissions. It makes no sense to us that the government doesn’t recognise these benefits and open the way for overseas professionals to work here.
“Without us GPs and nurses are even more overloaded and access to care is reduced, leading to poorer health outcomes particularly for Māori and Pasifika. Working in communities across the country, physiotherapists are ideally positioned to access vulnerable patients.”
“Physiotherapists and other allied health workers can make a huge contribution to health care but we are constantly being undervalued,” said Mark Quinn.