7 Dec 2009

Pay parity with Australia goal for senior hospital doctors

3:12 pm on 7 December 2009

Senior hospital doctors say they will make achieving pay that is competitive with Australia a focus of their coming pay talks.

The position has been agreed at the annual meeting of the senior doctors' union in Wellington.

Radio New Zealand's health correspondent says previous pay talks between senior doctors and their employers almost ended in unprecedented industrial action, before Government intervention brokered a deal at the eleventh hour.

Doctors at the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists' conference in Wellington on Friday heard New Zealand is losing between 200 to 700 doctors per year to Australia.

They say it cannot continue and finding a way to achieve competitive terms and conditions with Australia must be the focus of the next set of pay talks, which are to begin in earnest from February next year.

The pay talks are with district health boards, but chief executive Ian Powell says the Government will need to be involved again because the number of doctors needs to be increased.

Mr Powell says the association has also raised subscriptions to fund a campaign.