Relocation Funding extended to include community-owned rural hospitals

Communication for General Practices and Doctors regarding Te Whatu Ora’s International Recruitment Campaign 

Recently Hauora Taiwhenua, supported by GPNZ, successfully advocated for a financial relocation incentive for international General Practitioners coming to work long-term in rural practices throughout New Zealand, with Te Whatu Ora.

Rural relocation funding was initially only available to support the recruitment of international General Practitioners applying to work in rural primary care practices, which excluded those working in community-owned rural hospitals.

We are delighted to announce that funding has now been extended to include community-owned rural hospitals.

“This news will be extremely well received by our rural hospitals who continue to deliver services to rural communities despite work-force shortages.” says Dr Grant Davidson.

The relocation fund initiative is open and closes on 30th June 2024.   The funding is available to support internationally recruited GPs who take up a new position and/or sign an employment agreement with an eligible rural primary care provider between 1 September 2023 to 30 June 2024 (inclusive).

Dr Davidson says “This funding initiative, offering up to $20,000 (plus PAYE and 1.53% ACC Levy) paid in two lump sums over a two-year bonding period for each eligible internationally recruited GP into an eligible rural primary care provider, is a real and tangible boost to the sector.  Heavily incentivised recruitment campaigns in other countries, in particular our closest neighbour Australia, have been a concern to us over many months.”

Te Whatu Ora encourages any rural primary care provider looking to recruit an international GP to visit their website for more information on how to access the funding and eligibility criteria.

While we continue to work to train our own sustainable, highly skilled, multi-disciplinary rural health workforce, we are grateful to the management at Te Whatu Ora who were open to listening to, and acting on, our concerns about incentivising overseas doctors to come and work in rural New Zealand to help ease the stress felt by those practices.