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Doctor exodus ‘a disaster’

Published: Mon 12 Jan 2004 04:15 PM
Doctor exodus ‘a disaster’
The exodus of doctors to Australia is a disaster that must be addressed urgently, says National Party Health spokeswoman Dr Lynda Scott.
She’s responding to reports of New Zealand doctors being lured to Australia with the offer of free airfares, accommodation and A$120 (NZ$138) an hour to work in the emergency rooms at regional hospitals.
“NZ doctors feel undervalued in their own country and are choosing to leave despite our lifestyle.
“Foreign doctors are staffing our hospitals as New Zealanders leave in droves. Last year, 758 foreign doctors were granted temporary registration in New Zealand.
“It is time to listen to our doctors, though it is already too late for the many we have lost overseas.
“The Labour Government is squandering the chance to make New Zealand a wealthier society bringing higher wages as a result. The Government’s attitude to private practice means our most talented are leaving.”
The move to force GP’s into Primary Health Organisations (PHOs) or face having no access to new primary care money has also had a detrimental effect.
Dr Scott says New Zealand is also losing pharmacists at an alarming rate, most of them to Ireland.
“Last year pharmacists saw their incomes cut by a third due to the Government’s decision on 3-monthly dispensing.
“We need to stop the implementation of PHO’s now and pay Pharmacists for the services they deliver,” says Dr Scott.
“I agree with Medical Association chairwoman Tricia Briscoe that the whole situation is a disaster.
“This socialist Labour Government is eroding the whole ethos of delivering a quality service via independent private business practice, which previously underpinned pharmacy and general practice,” says Dr Scott.

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