Home > In the News, Interest > Government Bonding Scheme for Doctors.

Government Bonding Scheme for Doctors.

This has just been released by the government, as one of the many pre-election promises. As a medical student with a wife who is a doctor, this is worth $20,000 per year to us. Subsequently, depending on what the ‘hard to staff’ areas are, we would seriously consider such an offer. I wonder if Auckland is ‘hard to staff’?… From memory, there are about 25% vacancy rates for junior doctors at the moment within the Auckland DHB’s… it sounds hard to staff to me! 🙂

Bonding schemes to keep doctors, teachers in NZ

“The Government today announced voluntary bonding schemes to encourage more health professionals, teachers and veterinarians to work in hard to staff areas.

Under the scheme, reported in the Herald this morning, graduates would get student cash incentives to work in understaffed areas for a five year period starting from 2011. Details included:

* Health professionals: In the first year 100 doctors and 250 midwives and nurses were expected to be voluntarily bonded to work in areas with critical workforce shortages. Similar numbers were expected to be added yearly.

Doctors would get $10,000 a year (after tax); midwives $3500 and nurses $2833.”

Click the heading to read the full article.

  1. Kevin
    February 23, 2009 at 2:05 pm

    There are some major limitations – it’s effectively a 5 year scheme (you don’t get paid until after the first three years) as follows:

    Approved positions for years 1 and 2 – Lakes, Northland, Southland, Whanganui, Wairarapa, Wairau (Blenheim), West Coast, Whakatane, Thames
    Year 3-5 can be in any DHB but only in specific specialties – GP, general medicine, general surgery, pathology, psychiatry and obstetrics/gynaecology

    It only really applies for 2008 graduates; people who have graduated since 2005 are treated on a case-by-case basis but apparently have to start from year 1 (i.e. no accomodation for prior work).

    So good idea, poor implementation – you really need a universal scheme if you want to have any effect on the overall workforce shortage.

  2. Jared
    February 23, 2009 at 5:33 pm

    Thanks, I didn’t actually know the details. It probably doesn’t address the overall work shortage, but it must at least begin to address the shortage of staff in hard to staff areas. Although, given the massive shortage of staff in Auckland alone, presumably there is going to be a greater shortage once junior docs relocate to take advantage??..

    Having said that, the scheme might also prevent some docs from heading off overseas to Australia.

    I would agree, it doesn’t solve the issue, but at least begins to address it, which is more than has been done anytime recently. 🙂

  3. Kevin
    February 23, 2009 at 6:16 pm

    The corollary is that you can easily earn $50,000 pre-tax by locuming in the Australian outback for 6-8 weeks – and that’s doing a house surgeon job. I suspect it will reward those who would be going to those areas anyway (and possibly sway a few who were on the fence) but won’t lead to a mass exodus.

    Better than nothing, of course.

    • Jared
      February 23, 2009 at 10:00 pm

      This is true, I was there in June last year for 4 weeks, whilst Hannah came over for 3 weeks. It was a very lucrative time away. We calculated that if we both worked for say 12 weeks, we would come back with a minimum of AUD$120,000 minus tax. A lot better than the 100k we would get between the two of us for five years working in a ‘hard-to-staff’ location.

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