Health Minister Tony Ryall and Education Minister Anne Tolley have announced a partnership with the Universities of Auckland and Otago that will train more doctors and nurses and other health professionals at Gisborne and Whakatane Hospitals.
The partnership is part of a new $4.5 million programme to train health students in rural areas so that they will return to work in rural communities.
“Over the next three years an estimated 300 plus student doctors, nurses, pharmacists, physiotherapists and dentists will train side by side, in the classroom and out on the job at Whakatane and Gisborne Hospitals” says Mrs Tolley.
Otago started sending students to rural hospitals a few years ago. I think it was an initiative of the late Dr Pat Farry who was passionate about rural medicine.
The idea is that if students train in rural and provincial areas they will be more likely to consider working there once they graduate.
The experience is good for the trainees and the communities where they train which often suffer from an exodus of youth in search of further education.