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Health graduates going where they’re needed most in Waikato

This year 23 graduate doctors, nurses and other health professionals have signed up to the government’s voluntary bonding scheme and intend on working in hard to staff areas in Waikato.

Health Minister Tony Ryall said of these 23 health graduates, there were 3 doctors, 2 midwives, 16 nurses and 2 radiation therapists.

Registrations for the 2014 intake recently closed, and all 450 eligible health graduates who registered nationwide have been accepted.

There are now over 3,000 graduate doctors, nurses and other health professionals working, or intending to work, in hard to staff areas across the country.

“The popularity of this scheme means more health professionals are working in areas where we need them most” says Mr Ryall.

“The scheme encourages doctors, nurses and midwives to start their careers in hard to staff communities and specialties, and radiation therapists and medical physicists to remain in New Zealand, by offering payments to student loans after a three to five year bonded period.

“So far we’ve paid out over $14 million to 88 doctors, 534 nurses and 79 midwives.

“Recruiting and retaining front line staff is a key priority for this government. That’s why in 2009 this government launched the voluntary bonding scheme to encourage newly-qualified health graduates to work in hard to staff areas,” says Mr Ryall.

The full list of hard to staff communities and specialties and terms and conditions of the scheme is available on the Ministry of Health website

Media contact: Jannel Carter 027 589 8884 or Lyle Skipsey 021 993 701

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