Graduate doctors, nurses, midwives, medical physicists and radiation therapists have until Friday 13 July 2012 to register their interest in joining the Government's Voluntary Bonding Scheme.
The fourth intake (2012) opened on Friday 15 June and is open to applicants who have completed their qualification and whose last year of study was in 2011.
"This scheme continues to attract great interest from graduates and is improving access to health services in vulnerable communities and isolated areas," Health Minister Tony Ryall says.
"Hundreds of doctors, nurses and midwives who have chosen to work in hard to staff communities and specialities are now starting to reap the benefits through payments from the Voluntary Bonding Scheme.
"The Government has approved payments totalling over $2.7 million, approximately half of which has already been paid out to graduates who have completed their first three years on the scheme."
Some 278 graduates have so far had their applications approved with around 460 graduates yet to apply for payment.
The scheme encourages newly-qualified doctors, nurses and midwives to start their careers in hard to staff communities and specialties by offering payments to student loans after a three to five year bonded period.
The Government has decided to expand the scheme to include Radiation Therapists and Medical Physicists, as part of the drive to reduce waiting times for cancer treatment and retain key frontline health staff.
"Radiation therapists and medical physicists are in demand worldwide. Keeping these specialists in New Zealand is essential to providing better, sooner, more convenient cancer services to our communities," Mr Ryall says.
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