26 Sep 2023
National will deliver more doctors by creating a medical school at the University of Waikato and increasing medical school placements, National Leader Christopher Luxon says.
“The health sector is experiencing a workforce crisis. Sick and injured New Zealanders are waiting hours in emergency departments, weeks to see a GP and months on surgical wait lists.
“Currently, New Zealand does not train enough doctors to meet the demands of our growing and aging population, or to replace our retiring health workforce.
“That’s why a National government I lead will open a new medical school in Waikato to boost the number of doctors being trained.
“National will also increase the number of medical school placements at Auckland and Otago by a total of 50 from 2025. This will be in addition to the 50 extra places already funded at Budget 2023.
“Together, this will see an additional 220 doctors graduating a year by 2030, compared to just 50 more under Labour’s plan.
“The new medical school will have clinical training alliances with other universities and medical facilities around regional New Zealand – a model that will deliver more doctors committed to serving in provincial and rural parts of the country.
“Increasing home-grown doctors is vital to delivering the public services that New Zealanders deserve and National sees this as an essential and long-term investment.
“This medical school should have been started five years ago as the previous National Government planned. Labour cancelled it in 2018 and their short-sightedness means we will have to continue to rely heavily on immigration to increase our doctor numbers in the short term.
“A responsible government plans for the future, and that is exactly what a National government will do.
“National understands the importance of growing New Zealand’s health workforce. That is why we have already announced plans to boost nurses and midwives’ numbers by paying their student loan repayments if they enter a five year bonding agreement, and make New Zealand a more attractive destination for international nurses.
“A National government I lead will deliver better healthcare for New Zealand.”