2 Dec 2013

Nurses say hospitals paid to take new doctors

12:27 pm on 2 December 2013

Nurses claim a group within the Ministry of Health has paid district health boards to provide jobs for all new graduate doctors while hundreds of new nurses struggle to find work.

Radio New Zealand's health correspondent says places for newly graduating doctors and nurses in public hospitals are particularly tight this year, for different reasons, but the Government said last week all 377 New Zealand medical graduates have got work in hospitals this year.

The Nurses Organisation says it understands some hospitals were paid to fit the doctors in.

Associate professional services manager Hilary Graham-Smith says the union was told there were jobs for 353 new doctors, and that the Health Workforce New Zealand group in the ministry paid district health boards to fit in the extra 24.

She says hundreds of new graduate nurses are still looking for work, and faced with having to go overseas.

Ms Graham Smith says paying hospitals to accommodate new doctors or nurses is unsustainable, and a sign of poor workforce planning.

She says a shortage of nurses is expected by 2020 and a national scheme is needed to ensure they remain in this country.