Hauora Taiwhenua Applauds Coalition Government’s Progress in Developing a Third New Zealand Medical School Focussing on Producing Rural Doctors

Hauora Taiwhenua expresses its support for the Government’s signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the University of Waikato to establish a third medical school focussing on developing rural doctors.

“We are pleased to witness this important progression in the establishment of a third New Zealand medical school with a unique focus on solving the rural medical workforce issues,” stated Dr Fiona Bolden, Chair, Hauora Taiwhenua Rural Health Network.

“The current state of the rural health workforce in New Zealand is under extreme pressure, and we commend the Government for taking proactive measures to address this critical issue by training focussed on graduates willing to work rurally.”

The need for diverse strategies, both short-term and long-term, is critical to combating the challenges facing the rural health workforce. Hauora Taiwhenua recognises the importance of initiatives, such as a new medical school, in producing rural doctors and other essential rural health professionals.

Dr Grant Davidson, CE of Hauora Taiwhenua comments, “We have been advocating for a long time to introduce innovative training, based on overseas research, that proves that training rural people, in rural areas using rural health professionals, will produce graduates that are much more likely to stay practicing in those rural communities.”

“It is pleasing to see the plan to establish a third medical school supporting this, with a programme that will be focussed on producing rural doctors and other rural health professionals.”

Hauora Taiwhenua looks forward to collaborating closely with the University of Waikato as well as both existing medical schools at the University of Auckland and the University of Otago. Recently, both Auckland and Otago received additional funded medical school placements along with funding to expand programmes involving immersion training in rural communities.

“We eagerly anticipate working alongside the University of Waikato and our colleagues at the existing medical schools to train as many graduates to work in rural areas as possible,” Dr Davidson added.

“Our collective efforts strive to empower our rural communities by ensuring they have access to high-quality healthcare services delivered by professionals who understand and are committed to rural values and needs.”