Record number of doctors and nurses in Bay of Plenty

  • Waikato/Bay of Plenty

A record number of doctors and nurses are taking care of patients in the Bay of Plenty.

Health Minister Jonathan Coleman says, “More doctors and nurses means faster treatment and better experiences for patients and their families.”

As of 31 March 2016, there were over 310 doctor full-time equivalents and around 1,040 nurse full-time equivalents employed by Bay of Plenty DHB. That’s almost 80 more doctors and 190 more nurses compared to 2008.

Nationally, the number of doctors and nurses working in our public health system has increased by over 6,100 since 2008, an increase of 25 percent.

This includes around 1,100 more senior doctors, an increase of 36 percent, and almost 1,100 more senior nurses, an increase of 40 percent.

Dr Coleman says, “New Zealanders need a health workforce that is well equipped to handle current and future demands."

“In February, I released the Health of the Health Workforce report which outlined the challenges facing the sector, such as an ageing workforce and staffing rural positions."

“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.