Doctor shortages mean there’s a demand for locums in New Zealand

Four doctors talk about demand for locums in NZ

Thinking about working as a locum doctor? Now’s the perfect time to find locum tenens jobs in New Zealand.

Locum tenens jobs are a great way for doctors to gain experience, earn extra money and find new opportunities.

But with the current shortage of doctors in New Zealand, there are more opportunities for doctors wanting to do locum work in 2021.

Why is there a shortage of doctors in New Zealand?

It’s a complicated picture. In recent years, New Zealand has had a shortage of doctors, particularly in general practice.

This is because there’s a large number of doctors who are close to retirement age. Nearly half of GPs in New Zealand plan to retire within the next decade and there’s not enough younger doctors to take their place.

The New Zealand healthcare system relies on overseas-trained doctors, or International Medical Graduates (IMGs) to plug the gap. Around 40% of doctors who register with the Medical Council of New Zealand each year are IMGs.

Enter the Covid-19 pandemic and the picture has changed. It’s unclear why doctors aren’t coming to New Zealand in the same volumes they were. Delays like isolation requirements on arrival could have an impact, or it could be that more doctors are choosing to stay in their home countries and help out.

What we do know is that there’s fewer work-ready doctors, whether they’re internationally or locally trained, and a higher number of locum vacancies.

Where are locum doctors in demand?

Traditionally, it’s been rural GP clinics where doctors are most in demand. But recently, vacancies have opened up across the country, in different specialities and grades.

Medrecruit currently has vacancies from Whangārei to Southland.

There’s also doctor job vacancies in sought-after locations. Top hospitals are turning to specialist agencies like Medrecruit to help them find the best doctors to fill vacancies.

Here’s who is most in demand:

· Emergency Department (ED) doctors across all grades

· House officers (particularly those willing to work in any specialty)

· Medical specialists

· Obstetrics and Gynaecology (O&G) specialists

· Anaesthetists

General practice continues to be an area in high demand, too.

Tips for applying for locum doctor jobs in 2021?

July to October is when there’s the most movement in the doctor job market and this is when we see the highest volume of job vacancies.

In New Zealand, the annual recruitment cycle is at its busiest in July and August.

The annual recruitment cycle is the District Health Boards’ recruitment period for Resident Medical Officer (RMO) positions. Positions start in January and application deadlines are in late August and early September. If successful, doctors have only a few weeks to accept or reject their job offer.

After these offers are accepted or rejected is the best time to apply for permanent roles (around early September). We’re predicting a higher-than-usual number of vacancies after the recruitment cycle this year.

July to October is a great time to apply for longer locum roles. Again, there’s usually high demand for locum doctors over this period and we’re expecting even higher vacancy numbers this year.

Tips for applying for locum doctor jobs

Working with Medrecruit gives you a large number of job opportunities. We know what hospitals and clinics across New Zealand need right now and can help match you to the right role.

Our recruitment experts will help you find the best job for your career and lifestyle. But, there are a few tips you can follow to help you secure your ideal locum role:

· Get your paperwork in order and on file early. This means you can move quickly when you see the role you want

· If you see a long-term locum job and can’t fulfil all the dates, get in touch anyway. You could part-fill a longer vacancy

· Doctors looking for occasional locum roles should sign up for Job Alerts. This will let you know by email as soon as a short-term (or long-term) locum matching your preferences is listed

Whatever you’re looking for, now’s a great time to enrol with a medical recruitment agency to find locum doctor jobs. Medrecruit Solutions Specialist Sophie Steenberg says 2021 is “the busiest I’ve ever known.”

“There are a lot of locum job opportunities for doctors right now.

“I’m seeing a lot of long-term locum roles, but there’s something for everyone. Doctors can do a day or two around their current roster or choose to do longer blocks.

“It’s definitely a good time to start locuming.”

Our team are here to help. If you’ve got any questions about upcoming locum work, get in contact with your solutions specialist or register now.

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Bethany Rogers
09 August 2021Article by Bethany RogersMedrecruit Editor