Health Workforce New Zealand
Citation: Ministry of Health. 2016. Health of the Health Workforce 2015.
Wellington: Ministry of Health.
Published in February 2016
by the Ministry of Health
PO Box 5013, Wellington 6145, New Zealand
ISBN: 978-0-947491-53-6 (print)
ISBN: 978-0-947491-54-3 (online)
This document is available at www.health.govt.nz
This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International licence. In essence, you are free to: share ie, copy and redistribute the material in any medium or format; adapt ie, remix, transform and build upon the material. You must give appropriate credit, provide a link to the licence and indicate if changes were made.
The Board of Health Workforce New Zealand is pleased to release this second report on the health of New Zealand’s health workforce. Health Workforce New Zealand was set up in 2009 to provide strategic leadership and oversight in a sector-wide response to New Zealand’s workforce challenges. I am pleased to say that we have had a successful year working with stakeholders on a range of strategies that strengthen our health workforce in a numbers of ways.
Health Workforce New Zealand’s workforce taskforces have made good progress in coordinating the energy and focus of the large number of stakeholders that have an interest in the development of a sustainable and effective health workforce. Our common goal is to ensure the health workforce is appropriately trained and configured to meet current and future needs so that New Zealanders can be confident of receiving the best care possible.
The Voluntary Bonding Scheme continues to encourage doctors, nurses and midwives into the specialties and areas that have traditionally been hard to staff. There has been a positive uptake of the Nurse Entry to Practice Programme by nurses in their first postgraduate year, with more nurses than ever before taking up employment opportunities in aged residential care. Another critical area that has experienced growth in uptake by new graduate nurses is mental health and addiction nursing. In addition, our universities are producing more medical graduates and more doctors are entering general practice training than ever before.
These examples are part of a number of changes to the health of our health workforce over the past six years. The Board is pleased to be associated with the health workforce at this dynamic and critical time and looks forward to continuing to work with the sector to ensure a sustainable and fit for purpose health workforce for all New Zealanders.
Professor Des Gorman BSc MBChB MD (Auckland) PhD (Sydney)
Board Executive Chair
Health Workforce New Zealand
This is Health Workforce New Zealand’s report on the state of New Zealand’s health and disability workforce. As with the first Health of the Health Workforce report, released in 2014, it sets out what we know about the main occupational groups – doctors, dentists, nurses, midwives, allied health science and technical workers, and non-regulated workers.
The 2014 report has had a significant impact across the health sector in raising understanding of the issues facing New Zealand’s health workforce and the various ways the sector and the Ministry of Health is addressing those issues. It has contributed to the development of strategies and programmes to improve New Zealanders’ health and wellbeing.
Health Workforce New Zealand’s focus continues to be on strengthening the health and disability workforce by improving the recruitment, retention and distribution of health professionals. It works across the sector and at a regional level to align workforce development with service demand.
Another key objective is to strengthen the health workforce intelligence and data we need to provide high-quality support and advice on current and projected gaps in the health workforce. The Health of the Health Workforce report contributes to this by providing data about a wide range of health professions within one publication.
We are grateful to the stakeholder organisations that contributed the data and advice that made this report possible. This year we have also integrated independent contributions from each stakeholder group on the state of their particular workforce. This brings an additional perspective to the report that complements and enhances our knowledge about the health of New Zealand’s health workforce.
Dr Ruth Anderson PhD
Health Workforce New Zealand
the Board Executive Chair, Health Workforce New Zealand 3
Foreword from the
Health Workforce New Zealand 4
Role of Health Workforce New Zealand 6
Data sources 6
General workforce facts and figures 6
Ageing medical workforce 9
General practitioners 10
Managing the medical pipeline 11
New Zealand-trained doctors 12
Overseas-trained doctors 12
New Zealand-trained dentists 13
Hard-to-staff specialties 14
Scopes of practice 14
Nursing workforce priorities 15
Nurse Entry to Practice and Specialist Practice 16
Ageing nursing workforce 16
Māori and Pacific nurses 17
Overseas-trained nurses 17
Expanded midwifery student intake 18
Midwifery First Year of Practice 19
Ageing midwifery workforce 19
Midwifery profile 20
Overseas-trained midwives 21
Allied health, science and technical professionals 22
Allied health role in addressing health targets 22
Vulnerability of the allied health workforce 23
Allied Health, Science and Technical Taskforce 24
Kaiāwhina (non-regulated) workers 25
Profile of kaiāwhina workforce 25
Development of five-year action plan 26
Future prospects for joining the workforce 27
Medical workforce 27
Allied health 28
Kaiāwhina (non-regulated) 28
Appendix 1: List of responsible authorities and professions regulated 30
Appendix 2: Ratios of trainee doctors to specialists 31
Appendix 3: Number of nurses per 100,000 population 32