22 Mar 2009

Shortage of on-call doctors on Kapiti Coast

7:28 am on 22 March 2009

A coroner has criticised a lack of on-call doctors on the Kapiti Coast, north of Wellington, after the death of an elderly man at a rest home in 2007.

Coroner Ian Smith's report cites the shortage as a "major concern" that needs to be remedied as soon as possible.

Kapiti District Mayor Jenny Rowan says she is trying to attract more family doctors to the area, and is at present helping two foreign doctors complete the paperwork necessary to work in New Zealand.

However, she says she is aware three local doctors already have plans to move away.

Ms Rowan says a pilot programme underway with the local ambulance service will help alleviate the problem.