24 Feb 2010

Health professionals bonding scheme extended

6:34 pm on 24 February 2010

A voluntary bonding scheme for health graduates who agree to work in hard-to-staff areas and specialties has been extended.

Surgical nurses and the South Canterbury region will now be included.

The scheme offers graduates in medicine and midwifery incentives in the form of student loan debt write-offs or cash incentives over three to five years.

Health Minister Tony Ryall says demand in the first year has exceeded expectations.

Mr Ryall says it was initially thought about 350 health professionals would sign up, but the year's total had reached 890.

Registrations for this year's intake close at the end of April.