Growing health workforce fit for the future

Hon Dr Jonathan Coleman

Minister of Health

15 February 2015

Health Minister Jonathan Coleman says a new report shows the health workforce continues to grow and adapt to New Zealanders needs.

“New Zealanders need a health workforce that is well equipped to handle current and future demands,” says Dr Coleman.
The Health of the Health Workforce 2015 report outlines key facts and trends in the sector.
It includes a snapshot headcount - the regulated health workforce is at a record 97,786 practising health practitioners in 2015. This includes 52,729 practising nurses, 14,678 doctors (including 4,592 GPs), and 3,068 midwives.
The medical workforce has grown by 17.5 per cent in the past six years, with 2,185 more practising doctors. In addition, there were 6,764 more nurses practising in 2015 compared to 2009.
“The report notes that well targeted funding increases are also working to help fill hard to staff roles,” says Dr Coleman.
“A record 169 doctors entered general practice training in 2015, compared to 124 doctors in 2014. The report also found new midwifery graduates are benefiting from a revised Midwifery First Year of Practice programme that is now compulsory and includes one-on-one mentoring and support.
“The report also highlights areas where we face ongoing challenges, these include staffing rural services and an ageing health workforce.
“Work programmes to help address these issues continue. This includes the Voluntary Bonding Scheme which encourages health practitioners to practise in specialties and regions that are traditionally difficult to staff.”
The health workforce is supported by the extra $400 million being invested into the sector this year, taking the health budget to a record $15.9 billion.
The report can be found on the Ministry of Health website, 

Media contact: Kirsty Taylor-Doig 021 838 372



Last updated: Wednesday, February 10, 2016

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