INDEPENDENT NEWS

Overseas Doctors Policy "Whites Only"

Published: Wed 20 Dec 2000 11:58 AM
United Future leader, Hon Peter Dunne, says the Medical Council's decision to relax registration criteria for certain groups of overseas trained doctors has a "whites only" look to it.
Mr Dunne says that while he welcomes any moves to streamline registration procedures for overseas doctors so that they can work in New Zealand, the latest move is highly selective.
"By relaxing the rules applying to doctors from Britain, Ireland, Canada, South Africa, and the United States only, the Council is sending a clear signal that it regards doctors trained in Asia, or on the Indian subcontinent, the rest of Africa and the Middle East as automatically inferior."
"At the same time, it seems to be arrogantly implying that doctors trained in the United States and the 'Old Commonwealth' are automatically superior to those trained elsewhere."
"Both automatic assumptions are equally wrong, and leave a nasty suspicion of a 'Whites Only' approach to overseas doctor registration," he says.
Mr Dunne says that the Medical Council ought to apply its new registration procedures to all suitably qualified doctors, regardless of where they come from, to enable them to work in New Zealand.
"It is simply crazy that we continue to have doctor shortages in New Zealand while we take such a restrictive approach to registering those who may be able to help resolve the shortage problems," he says.
Ends

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