Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Different Doctor view

The Press reports that the hours junior doctors are working is exaggerated.

According to one senior doctor, Many worked a 13-week cycle and the association quoted the worst week of about 70 hours, but his statistics showed most worked an average of between 40 and 60 hours a week.

Morton said that in the past two years he had worked with 220 British graduates, mainly junior house officers, and some senior registrars. "Generally, they find the conditions here are outstandingly good, except there's not enough to do."

Exit questionnaires showed many of the overseas doctors found there was less responsibility and less to do in their Canterbury District Health Board positions.

Of course, the hours worked may differ around the country.

A caller to talkback yesterday put an interesting slant on the issue. The young, single, female, high-earning doctors are being heavily taxed to subsidise staff with children, who work shorter hours but are benefitting from the Working for Families package. She suggested this is an additional source of resentment.

If that resentment is enough to drive them overseas the country loses twice; once through lost skills, and if they stay away, again through the lost potential to improve New Zealand's fertility rate.

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