The NZLocums team are always keen to get out and about on practice visits. in November and December, Relationship Managers Jenny and Debra headed off to visit rural practices in the Nelson/Golden Bays region followed by the greater Auckland.
Our visits are invaluable in increasing our knowledge about each practice’s unique needs as well as getting a feel for the surrounding area and amenities provided, better equipping us for discussing potential placements with general practitioners and nurse practitioners we assist. It is also an opportunity to chat about future recruitment plans and obtain a clear understanding of a practice’s specific requirements.
Our visit to the greater Auckland area included Warkworth, Wellsford, and Waiheke Island. These locations have the best of both worlds, surrounded by idyllic bush, farming landscapes and beaches, but also within close proximity to a major city. It is a very appealing combination for overseas GPs and their families contemplating a move here.
We were also fortunate to be able to include the Northland town of Dargaville in our trip schedule. It was interesting to hear about the dynamics between the hospital and on-site GP practice and the collegial support they provide to each other.
Our visit to the top of the South Island took us to Mapua, Wakefield, Motueka, and on a trip over Takaka Hill to Golden Bay. We learned more about the ideal qualities needed for GPs keen to work in this area, a unique part of the country renowned for its stunning scenery.
A recurring factor at many practices was their need to adapt to a population that expands severalfold, to cater to an influx of tourists during holiday periods. The resourcefulness and dedication of the teams was evident at each practice we visited, providing optimal patient care within the challenges of rural practice.
Throughout our trip we appreciated staff taking time out from their busy day to show us around their facilities. An added bonus is always the opportunity to meet locums we have assisted ‘on the ground’ at their placements.
Our trips continue to remind us of the many beautiful rural locations throughout Aotearoa, but also emphasise the ongoing critical shortage of GPs across the country. We will be endeavouring to provide as much support as possible as we go into the New Year.