Read the Dominion Post story with Tim Malloy.
Preliminary findings from the College’s annual Workforce Survey show that 44% plan to retire in the next 10 years and there are not enough mid-career GPs to replace them. This figure is up from 41% in 2015 and 36% in 2014.
Workforce planning is something the College has been aware of and been working to manage for a number of years.
Some of the issues compounding the GP shortage are that more GPs are choosing to work part-time, and demand for GP services is increasing due to an aging population and increases in chronic disease and complex treatments.
To address the GP workforce shortage, New Zealand needs to continue to increase the numbers entering the GP workforce. This means funding needs to increase too.
Health Workforce New Zealand (HWNZ) has been supportive of the College in increasing funding in recent years - but more needs to be done.
In 2015 the College took on 182 new trainee GPs (General Practice Education Programme - GPEP) registrars who will qualify in 2-3 years’ time, and 180 completed their training and achieved Fellowship while working as GPs.
One of the ways to help increase the GP workforce may be to look into new ways of training GPs, nurse practitioners and other general practice support staff. This could include multi-disciplinary training, vertical training in some practices and having some GP trainees employed by the practices they work in.
For more information about New Zealand’s GP workforce click here