'Do Nothing' Government At Heart Of Medical Shortage

Barbara Stewart
Author: 
Barbara Stewart
Date: 
Monday, February 4, 2013 - 13:30

New Zealand First says Health Minister Tony Ryall must front up and take action after a report released by the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists revealed a serious shortage of specialists.

Health Spokesperson Barbara Stewart says it has been evident for years that there has been a specialist shortage in New Zealand.

“This is the sort of skill shortage we need to fix in the short-term through immigration.

“It makes far more sense for the Government to bring in top quality medical staff to plug the shortage than issuing thousands of 90 day work visas for unskilled foreign workers to help in the Christchurch rebuild.”

Mrs Stewart says that ultimately the specialist shortage is one that well-trained Kiwi graduates should fill.

“The Government must provide better incentives for Kiwi medical graduates to stay and work in New Zealand or we will continue down the path of allowing our universities to become training grounds for other countries.

“But sadly this Government is continuing with its ‘do nothing’ approach as the shortage worsens.

“It is time for Mr Ryall to be realistic and commit to a plan that would eliminate the specialist shortage primarily through the training and retention of talented New Zealanders,” says Mrs Stewart.

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