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Health Minister Jonathan Coleman says an increase in interest in general practice amongst medical students is a promising trend.

“It’s important that health facilities around the country are well equipped to provide New Zealanders with the treatment that they need, when and where they need it,” says Dr Coleman.

“To ensure this happens we need to continue with the current planned programme to gradually increase the number of doctors coming through the pipeline into general practice.

“In recent years there has been a concerted effort to attract graduating medical students into general practice, which includes utilising the Voluntary Bonding Scheme and rural immersion programme for medical students which can include general practice.

“A recently released Otago University survey funded by Workforce NZ suggests that these efforts are taking seed.

“The survey found that of the 375 medical students who completed their study in 2015 the most popular preference was general practice, chosen by just under a quarter of recipients.

"When asked what influenced their choice, the top three factors included the ability to positively impact on people’s lives, the work atmosphere, and their experience as a student training"

“The number of GPs is growing, increasing from 3,178 vocationally registered GPs in 2014 to 3,444 in 2016. The number of GP trainees enrolled in the three year GP training programme has increased from 125 in 2014 to 183 in 2016.

“The Workforce NZ survey also found that the vast majority of the 375 medical students (94 per cent) said they would want to seek work here in New Zealand.

“The Government continues to work hard to create an attractive economic environment so people want to stay and develop their professional careers.”

 Further details on Workforce NZ and this survey can be found here: http://www.otago.ac.nz/medical-school/otago645047.pdf

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