The nurses' union says money was found to employ surplus
graduate doctors, while hundreds of young nurses are missing
The New Zealand Nurses Organisation said the Government
provided extra funding to hospitals so all domestic medical
graduates gained employment.
Health Workforce NZ, a unit of the Ministry of Health,
rejected the claim of extra funding but said boards were
asked to ''prioritise'' young doctors.
The medical recruitment market has tightened internationally,
while more doctors are being trained. Boards scrambled to
find the extra places for the doctors when the issue came to
light in August.
This year, 24 new doctors were surplus to requirements, until
the Government stepped in, and next year the number was
expected to rise to 60, NZNO associate professional services
manager Hilary Graham-Smith said.
She said the union had discovered that at least some boards
were ''incentivised'' to take the extra doctors. Meanwhile,
hundreds of nurses were being interviewed for very few
positions, and fewer than half of them had jobs.
''Incentivising DHBs to take new graduate doctors is not a
sustainable way forward for the health system in New Zealand.
Having an agency in charge of health workforce planning who
had no idea there would be more doctors than places this year
Health Workforce NZ acting director Dr Ruth Anderson said in
a statement funding was managed within existing budgets.
''Health Workforce New Zealand did ask all 20 DHBs to
prioritise the placement of New Zealand residents from New
Zealand medical schools, but these first-year graduate
doctors placements were not surplus to requirements, and
funding for [graduate] places for 2013 medical graduates was
managed within the current budget,'' Dr Anderson said.