November 20, 2023
Health workforce bonding scheme extended
Te Whatu Ora’s voluntary bonding scheme will make newly-graduated Māori and Pasifika health professionals a priority over the next year.
Last year the scheme, which gives graduates a lump sum payment if they commit to working in high needs or rural communities for three years, attracted nearly 500 takers at a cost of $7 million.
John Snook, Te Whatu Ora’s director of workforce planning and development, say it targets midwives, GPs, nurses and dentist, with aneasthetists and pharmacists now added to the scheme.
Under the Scheme, graduates need to comit to high needs communities – especially rural areas – and after three years will get a lump sum of several thousand dollars – which can be extra income or used for student debt.
GPs can get $30,000 to pocket or pay off student debt, while mid-wives can get $10,500 for a three-year placement.
“And so that’s as simple as it is really, and as long as they’re working in the fields that we need them – and the places that we need them – they qualify for those payments,” Mr Snook says.
Registrations for 2024 open in February – and because of the urgent need, last year’s graduate midwives are also eligible if they missed the 2023 cut off.