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Scheme to fill hard-to-staff health jobs working

Health Minister Jonathan Coleman says a scheme to fill hard-to-staff health roles is making a real difference to the career choices of graduating health professionals.

“New Zealand produces quality healthcare professionals and we want as many as possible to stay here to work after they graduate,” says Dr Coleman.

“The Government established the Voluntary Bonding Scheme five years ago to provide an incentive for graduates to take up roles in communities and professions which are identified as being harder to fill.

“To-date, nearly $17 million has been paid out to eligible participants, showing the scheme is a valuable tool.

“These graduates are establishing careers here in New Zealand, while shortages in identified areas and specialties are being addressed. This means less reliance on locums and shorter waiting times for treatments.”

The scheme, which is run by Health Workforce New Zealand, is offered to medical, midwifery and nursing graduates. Recently medical physicist and radiation therapy graduates were added to the list, and sonographers will be included from 2015.

Those on the scheme receive three annual payments after a bonded period of three years, to help repay their student loan or as top-up income.

Since its launch, 3,139 graduates have signed-up to the scheme and 778 health professionals have started receiving payments.

Applications for 2015 will be called for in the new year. Further information can be found at: www.health.govt.nz/our-work/health-workforce/voluntary-bonding-scheme.

Media contact: Kirsty Taylor-Doig 021 838 372

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