A positive response to a critical situation
The Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners (RNZCGP) applauds the government’s commitment to establish a new School of Rural Medicine .
RNZCGP President Dr Tim Malloy says today’s announcement is a positive step towards solving the critical shortage in the rural medical workforce.
“New Zealand has a shortage of GPs generally, but this shortage is particularly acute in our smaller towns and rural areas,” says Dr Malloy.
“It has become increasingly difficult for patients living outside urban areas to access a GP. This is potentially putting people’s health at risk and putting an unsustainable level of stress and demand on the doctors working in rural areas,” says Dr Malloy.
“To have a sustainable rural medical workforce we have to train more medical professionals and make living in rural areas more appealing,” he says.
“This is something our College has been calling for – and it’s pleasing to see the government has acknowledged this issue and announced a new School of Rural Medicine will open its doors by 2020.
“While we recognise this commitment is dependent on the election outcome, it is pleasing to see this issue is on the table.
“As a rural GP myself, I know how challenging it is to keep up with patient demand – but its important high quality healthcare is available to all New Zealanders, no matter where they live - and that requires a well-trained, sustainable rural medical workforce.”