$400K a year, 12 weeks vacation, and a New Zealand town still can’t get another doctor
For the past two years a small town doctor in New Zealand has been unable to fill a position at his practice, even after offering $400,000 a year in salary, plus three months vacation.
Dr. Alan Kenny has been looking for a junior doctor to join his medical practice in the north island town of Tokoroa, which is about 210 kilometres from Auckland.
According to the New Zealand Herald, Kenny took his search to the Internet after four medical recruitment firms were unable to find a suitable GP in the last two years.
So what’s he offering? NZD$400,000 (about $368,000CDN) a year in salary, 12 weeks vacation, and a four-day work week. He’s also willing to toss in half his practice, the Herald reported.
“I can offer them a really, really amazing income; it’s incredible. My practice has exploded in the last year and the more patients you list, the more money you get,” the doctor told the Herald. “But it just gets too much at the end of the day.
“Just because I earn lots of money doesn’t mean I want to work my butt off,” he said.
According to the newspaper, the health clinic has about 6,000 patients and Kenney is forced to see around 40 patients a day due to the demand. Kenny said the Royal College of GPs recommended the number of patients a doctor should only see is 25 patients a day.
Speaking with U.K.’s The Guardian, Linda Reynolds of New Zealand Rural General Practice Network, said a GP would typically see an annual salary between $150,000 to $200,000, but positions at rural practices are usually filled with international medical graduates (IMGs).
“We rely heavily on IMGs, but the majority who come stay on a short term basis,” Reynolds told the British newspaper. “The demand is constant and growing.”
Reynolds cited lack of schools, social activities and poor access to the Internet as contributing factors in the lack of interest in rural practices.
“I love my work and I would like to stay but I hit my head against a brick wall trying to attract doctors,” Kenny said. “If it’s hard enough to get doctors to work alongside me, it’s going to be a devil of a job to get doctors to replace me.”
© 2016 Shaw Media