Health recruitment service aims to combat workforce shortages

Chris Lynch
Chris Lynch
Aug 01, 2022 |

Health Minister Andrew Photo: RNZ / Angus Dreaver

The Government is rolling out new measures to train more health workers domestically and bring more doctors and nurses into the country.

It includes the establishment of a “one-stop-shop” for international recruitment within Health New Zealand.

Health Minister Andrew Little said a new system will streamline funding for international health workers, including doctors, to get their professional qualifications recognised in New Zealand. 

For nurses, this includes funding of up to $10,000 each to complete and sit competence assessment programmes that can be needed to get registration in New Zealand.

For doctors, there will be a six-month bridging programme to prepare them for working in New Zealand, including paying salaries during their six-week clinical induction courses and three-month training internships.

$5,000 will be made available for every non-practising nurse in New Zealand who wants to return to nursing to help them get reregistered.

There will also be a joint project with the Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners to increase the number of GPs trained each year to 300 and to get more Māori and Pacific GPs, and funding to increase training slots for radiology registrars so that there 15 more training slots in three years.

“The initiatives announced today are just the start of the workforce plan,” Andrew Little said.

“Another area we are looking at is the repetition of processes and the length of time it takes for overseas-trained nurses when they are seeking registration to work in New Zealand. I am writing to the Nursing Council, Health New Zealand, the Māori Health Authority and the Minister of Immigration to ask that it be streamlined.”

RNZ reported that a multimedia domestic recruitment campaign called Real Nurses had already been set up, he said, to showcase nursing “as a diverse, meaningful and rewarding career”, and would run on Facebook, Instagram, Tik Tok, YouTube, Twitch alongside online and outdoor advertising.

The Shortland Street television show would also be involved in the campaign to attract young people as well as encouraging nurses to return to practice.

“The partnership involves the campaign being integrated into the show’s storyline which apparently is a first in the show’s 30-year history,” he said.

Little said he was not aware of any payment being offered to Shortland Street or its producers for their support.

Chris Lynch
Chris Lynch

Chris Lynch is a journalist, videographer and content producer, broadcasting from his independent news and production company in Christchurch, New Zealand. If you have a news tip or are interested in video content, email [email protected]

Have you got a news tip? Get in touch here

got a news tip?