ASMSMonday 08 October 2012, 9:42AM
Media release from ASMS
Waikato Denver mission highlights financial wastage caused by
specialist shortages in public hospitals
"The urgent recruitment mission to Denver by the Waikato District
Health Board highlights the financial wastage caused by specialist
shortages in our public hospitals," said Mr Ian Powell, Executive
Director of the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists,
"This mission is in response to serious shortages, including
hospital specialists, which are costing the DHB $14 million on
outsourcing (including $6.4 million on temporary locums). It
highlights an important point that is often forgotten - shortages
don't save money, they cost money. Shortages force public
hospitals to use the most expensive option of employing temporary
"We are not critical of Waikato DHB which is doing what it has to
do. The stability of our public hospital specialist workforce
is brittle and vulnerable. The Waikato experience can happen
at any district health board at any given time and does so."
"This financial wastage will continue until we have an effective
retention and recruitment strategy for public hospital specialists
that includes retaining in New Zealand more of those that we
train. It is costing the country dearly and leaving the
burden on the shoulders of those who have to cover the shortages,"
concluded Mr Powell.