Got the winter blues? Why more UK doctors are moving to New Zealand.

UK doctor

Is the UK winter getting you down? You might be dreaming about a summer 'Down Under.' There has been a trend in recent years of more UK and Ireland based doctors moving to New Zealand to work.

You can see why trading grey skies and chilly winters for the picturesque landscapes and temperate climate of New Zealand might be a good idea. But it's not just the weather that's drawing them; New Zealand offers a blend of lifestyle, career progression, and a supportive healthcare system that's hard to resist.

Lifestyle and work-life balance:

One of the primary reasons UK and Irish doctors are moving to New Zealand is the enviable work-life balance. New Zealand’s healthcare system values the importance of a healthy balance between work and personal life. Doctors here find they have more time to enjoy life outside of the hospital or clinic. The country's stunning natural beauty, from its pristine beaches to majestic mountains, offers endless opportunities for outdoor activities and family time. This balance significantly contributes to overall job satisfaction and mental wellbeing, and can be a major attraction for doctors who may have spent years working long hours in a hospital setting and are looking for a change of pace.

Career progression and job opportunities:

One of the main reasons for the increase in UK doctors moving to New Zealand is the high demand for medical professionals in the country. New Zealand has a shortage of doctors, particularly in rural and remote areas, and the government has been actively recruiting foreign doctors to help meet this demand. This creates numerous job opportunities for UK doctors looking to work abroad.

New Zealand's healthcare system is not only supportive but also growing, offering a wealth of opportunities for career progression. The demand for medical professionals across various specialties means that doctors from the UK and Ireland can find numerous job opportunities. This includes chances to work in leading hospitals and clinics, engage in groundbreaking research, and even explore niche medical fields. For those looking to advance their careers, New Zealand's medical landscape provides a fertile ground.

Supportive system and reduced burnout:

Another significant draw is New Zealand’s supportive healthcare environment. The system here is structured to mitigate burnout, a prevalent issue in the medical profession globally. With reasonable working hours, a focus on mental health, and a collegial work environment, doctors experience less stress and professional fatigue. This supportive system not only enhances their work quality but also their overall well-being. The government and the medical profession in New Zealand place a strong emphasis on the well-being of doctors and the importance of maintaining a healthy work-life balance. This can be particularly appealing for UK doctors who may be feeling burnt out or overworked in the UK healthcare system.

IMG GP in New Zealand: Dr Nicky Anto's story:

Dr Nicky Anto is a general practitioner (GP) who recently moved to New Zealand to escape burnout, seeking a better work-life balance, and a more outdoorsy lifestyle. "I decided to come to Auckland for a host of various reasons (some of which I have outlined at the end) – and I am absolutely loving it!

That elusive, beautiful unicorn of a concept called ‘Work-Life Balance’ I mentioned earlier? Turns out it exists after all! I work 3 days a week, have the energy to meditate and exercise most days, have lost 12 kg (intentionally; fear not fellow medics), and go exploring or hiking most weekends."

Read the rest of Dr Nicky Anto's story here.

How Medrecruit can support your transition:

For UK and Irish doctors considering a move to New Zealand, Medrecruit offers comprehensive support throughout the transition. Our services include:

  • Guidance on registration and compliance with the Medical Council of New Zealand.
  • Assistance in job hunting, matching you with positions that suit your expertise and preferences.
  • Support with relocation logistics, ensuring a smooth transition for you and your family.
  • Ongoing support once you arrive in New Zealand, helping you integrate into your new community and work environment.
  • Sourcing and securing relocation packages for you and your family's transition.

We understand the unique challenges and opportunities that come with moving to a new country to practice medicine. We're dedicated to making your transition as seamless as possible, allowing you to focus on what you do best – caring for patients and enjoying your new life in New Zealand.

In conclusion, there are several reasons why more Irish and UK doctors are moving to New Zealand to work. The high demand for medical professionals in the country, the attractive lifestyle, and the supportive working environment for doctors are all contributing factors to this trend. For UK doctors looking for a change of scenery and a new opportunity to practice medicine, New Zealand may be an appealing destination.

If you are thinking about making the move to New Zealand to live and work as a doctor, we can help. From job application to the visa process, and registering with MCNZ Medrecruit offers a free support service to help IMGs relocate to New Zealand. Register for more information and be sure to view our doctor jobs in New Zealand here.

Find out everything you need to know about moving to Australia or New Zealand in our free IMG Guide.
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Medrecruit Editorial Team
22 November 2023Article by Medrecruit Editorial TeamMedrecruit Editor