Vet grad scheme extended

January 14, 2010

Agriculture Minister David Carter has announced an extension to the  voluntary bonding scheme for vets to cover all practices that deal with production animals.

The scheme, launched last year, encourages new graduates to stay in an eligible practice by providing a taxable payment of $11,000 for every year, up to five years, that they are working in the practice.

The scheme was originally aimed at practices in specific rural areas. Since then, 20 vets have been accepted into the scheme.

From this year, all practices that deal with production animals like dairy and beef cattle, sheep, pigs and poultry will be eligible, providing the vets receiving the funding will spend most of their time working with these animals.

This is a sensible move.

The difficulty of recruiting graduate vets to work with production animals is widespread so it makes sense that the incentive applies wherever vets are needed.

Bonding a good start

September 18, 2008

The National Party’s plan to offer voluntary bonds  to health professionals in areas which are difficult to staff is a good start.

The policy is to start with doctors, nurses and midwives and extend it to other health professional groups.

I’d like to see it expanded further to cover other professions where there are skills shortages for instance rural vets and engineers.

Helping graduates who are working in specialties or districts with staff shortages is a much better use of tax payers’ money than spending more on undergarduates in any discipline who might not complete their studies and might not stay in New Zealand.

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