The Ministry of Health welcomes the addition of new professions to next year’s Voluntary Bonding Scheme.
The scheme is offered every year to encourage newly qualified health professionals to work in the communities and specialties that need them most.
Another aim of the scheme is to boost the numbers of Māori and Pasifika health professionals – in line with this Government’s commitment to improve access to healthcare.
Those on the scheme receive financial incentives for the first three to five years of their career.
“Smaller towns and rural communities around New Zealand rely on their health professionals – it’s crucial we’re able to give them a helping hand to launch their career,” says Health Workforce Deputy Director-General Anna Clark.
The 2020 intake saw a record number of mental health nurses apply for the scheme and the highest number ever accepted – 164 mental health nurses.
“This year we broadened the scheme to include enrolled nurses working in the specialties of mental health and addiction and aged care. We also added more midwives in more locations to the scheme.
“Next year we’re doing the same for this year’s new graduates – adding Dunedin as an eligible community for new graduate DHB-employed midwives. We’re also including Lead Maternity Carer midwives in Dunedin, Queenstown Lakes District and Whanganui,” says Ms Clark.
Also being added to the list of eligible professions for the scheme are new graduate radiation therapists in the public sector, and new graduate medical physicists, also working in the public sector.
“When health professionals, such as nurses, GPs and midwives set up practice in harder to staff areas and communities with higher needs, it benefits everyone in those communities.”
The six-week Registration of Interest period for next year’s 2021 Voluntary Bonding Scheme intake is anticipated to open in February 2021 on the Ministry of Health website.