NZMSA PRESS RELEASE
GP shortage not cured by new Waikato Medical School
The New Zealand Medical Students’ Association (NZMSA) warns the proposed Waikato Medical School could have unintended negative consequences.
The numbers of medical graduates from the Universities of Otago and Auckland have been increasing, and will continue to increase in the coming years.
“Hospitals struggled to find jobs for our additional medical graduates this year. If we add more we risk having unemployed doctors. This would waste the significant financial investment the Government makes when training doctors,” says NZMSA President Mike Fleete.
Although there is a chronic shortage of rural GPs, medical graduates must first acquire registration before they can train to become a GP. Registration takes two years and consists primarily of working in a hospital.
“Unless the Government have a clear and workable plan to ensure these additional graduates can get a job in a hospital, they will not be able to become GPs.”
Furthermore, medical schools are already struggling to find clinical placements within hospitals and communities for their students. This is an essential component to training a doctor.
“Adding an additional 240 medical students to the mix risks degrading our medical education. There needs to be significant expansion in the capacity for teaching in general practices and hospitals before we start increasing medical student numbers.”
The NZMSA urges the Ministers of Health and Tertiary Education to ensure these matters are taken into account when assessing the Waikato Medical School proposal.
Mike Fleete (Palmerston North)
027 634 1358
David Bassett (Auckland)
NZMSA Vice President External
021 256 1492