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Voluntary Bonding Scheme Adds Mental Health And Aged Care

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Tony Ryall
Tony Ryall

Nurse graduates wanting to join the Government's voluntary bonding scheme will get priority if they choose to work in mental health or aged care.

Health Minister Tony Ryall says "The two new hard to staff specialties will encourage more nurse graduates to work in the community, and will have priority over the existing hard to staff specialties; cardiothoracic, intensive care, theatre and surgical."

This year four new communities have been added to midwifery hard to staff areas - Hawkes Bay, Hutt Valley, Taranaki and Waitemata. Northland Wairarapa, Counties Manukau, Whanganui, Taupo, South Canterbury, West Coast and Southland remain hard to staff areas.

All nursing graduates wanting to join the scheme will now be required to complete appropriate entry to practice training which may include Nursing Entry to Practice, Nursing Entry to Specialist Practice - Mental Health and Addiction and Employer-run programmes..

All midwives joining the scheme will be required to complete the Midwifery First Year of Practice programme.

There has been no change to hard to staff specialities and areas for graduate doctors.

This year, for the first time, the maximum intake will be adhered to.

"In previous years we've accepted everyone that applied to join the Voluntary Bonding scheme and there are now 1400 medical, nurse and midwifery graduates signed up. But this year, due to continuing financial constraints, we will be sticking within our budget which is enough for around 350 graduates," Mr Ryall says.

The voluntary bonding scheme encourages health graduates to establish careers in hard to staff specialties and communities in New Zealand by offering student loan write offs or cash incentives over three to five years.

Registration begins today 28 March and closes Friday 29 April. The 2011 intake will become eligible for their first payments in 2014.

The full list of hard to staff categories and the terms and conditions of the scheme are available on the bonding website www.moh.govt.nz/bonding

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