Monday, July 06, 2009

Doctor shortage

The OECD has just released a comparison of health data. In many ways NZ is unremarkable. Except for this;

"New Zealand has fewer physicians per capita than most other OECD countries. In 2007, New Zealand had 2.3 practising physicians per 1,000 population, well below the OECD average of 3.1."

By my reading of the situation this is largely a result of political interference. Successive governments have made the role of general practitioner less and less attractive. And of course our general economic standing means physicians are better paid elsewhere. My husband is a health professional (not a physician) but our children have never shown the remotest inkling of interest in pursuing a career in health. With all the dire media coverage, why would they?


Anonymous said...

I curse the day I ever decided to be a pharmacist. Fortunately after 22 years of misery I have now managed to escape.

Anonymous said...

You failed to say that in the US, where insurance is mainly provided privately, the ratio of doctors to patients is nearly exactly the same as in New Zealand. You also failed to mention that nearly all governments subsidize doctors' educations. Without those subsidies, without welfare, nobody would want to become a doctor. Nobody could afford it. So the welfare state is the solution, not the problem. The US subsidizes each doctors residency at over $110,000 a year. What would happen to the number of people becoming doctors if the government took that away? Its scary to think...