Voluntary Bonding open for new graduates and GP trainees

Hon Tony Ryall
Minister of Health

29 April 2013

The 2013 Voluntary Bonding Scheme opens today says Health Minister Tony Ryall.

Registration of Interest for the Scheme’s fifth intake (2013) is open for doctors, nurses, midwives, radiation therapists and medical physicists until 24 May.

The Registration of Interest period beginning today is for the fifth intake (2013) of the scheme and will be open until 24 May 2013.

“Every year we’ve seen an increase in the number of graduates who want to be on the scheme and now we’ve opened up even more opportunities for GPs to take part,” Mr Ryall says. 

“For the first time this year, doctors have two opportunities to enter the scheme – they can either enter upon graduation, or when they start training as a GP after completing their usual post graduate education,” Mr Ryall says.

The hard to staff communities for this additional GP entry option are Lakes DHB, Wanganui DHB, MidCentral DHB, West Coast DHB, South Canterbury DHB, Southern DHB excluding Dunedin, Mosgiel and Invercargill, Wairarapa DHB, Hawkes Bay DHB, Tairawhiti DHB and Taranaki DHB.

“There are now 2060 participants on the scheme, and we know they are already making a significant contribution in traditionally hard to staff areas.” 

The first payments were made last year to participants on the scheme.

So far the Government has paid 50 doctors, 288 nurses, 51 midwives. (Radiation therapists and medical physicists were added to the scheme last year and are not yet eligible for payment). A total of over $7 million has been paid out to date.

The scheme encourages doctors, nurses and midwives to start their careers in hard to staff communities and specialties by offering payments to student loans after a three to five year bonded period. Radiation Therapists and Medical Physicists simply have to work in New Zealand for three to five years upon completion of their qualifications.

“The popularity of this scheme means more health professionals are working where we need them most. Recruiting and retaining front line staff is a key priority for this Government and investment in schemes such as this are an integral part of achieving this,” Mr Ryall says.

The full list of hard to staff communities and specialties and terms and conditions of the scheme and the online Registration of Interest is available at http://www.healthworkforce.govt.nz/our-work/voluntary-bonding-scheme

Media contact: Jackie Maher 021 243 7803 or Jannel Carter 027 589 8884 


Last updated: Tuesday, April 30, 2013

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