Health Minister, Andrew Little, today confirmed a boost to medical graduate numbers in New Zealand.
“Growing the number of GPs is vital so we can fill today’s gaps and make sure we’ve got the doctors we need in the future, so finding different ways of providing training is essential,” said Minister Little.
In August, as part of a wider health workforce announcement, the Government pledged to increase the number of GPs trained in New Zealand each year from 200 to 300.
“Today, I’m pleased to confirm that, after discussions with the Royal College of General Practitioners, measures are being put in place to do that,” the Minister said.
The package will see doctors who choose to train as GPs paid as much as their hospital counterparts, he said.
“A review published today shows that the fact trainee GPs are paid less than registrars working in hospitals is the biggest barrier to young doctors going into general practice.”
“That pay gap will be closed, to bring the pay of first-year GP registrars in line with that of hospital registrars.”
Funding is also being increased to enable the Royal College to pay teaching supervisors for an extra two-and-a-half hours a week, and GPs who host 12-week community training modules will be paid hosting fees of $3,600.
“Together with the things already under way to make it easier for overseas-trained doctors to come to New Zealand and get registered and practising, these measures will increase the number of GPs working in our communities to keep New Zealanders healthy and out of hospital,” the Minister said.
Mr Little outlined the changes during a visit to the Baderdrive Doctors GP clinic in South Auckland, where he spoke about the practicalities of convincing more young doctors to specialise in general practice.