Increased student places would help address medical shortage

University of Auckland medical and health leaders say that a government sanctioned increase in university places at Auckland would be an obvious and cost-effective start to addressing the current shortage in medical practitioners.

Deputy Dean, FMHS, Professor Warwick Bagg

Deputy Dean of the Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences (FMHS) Professor Warwick Bagg said that the University had been lobbying for many years for increased places - determined by the governments and the Tertiary Education Commission (TEC).

“We have been lobbying consistently to increase medical student intake into the existing medical schools but this has not been prioritised by any government in recent years.

“We have two internationally competitive medical schools already operating in Aotearoa New Zealand, and if we had had the increased student intake we have been recommending, we would be much better placed to address the shortage.

“The solution lies not just with graduating more doctors, but with expanding the role of nurses, pharmacists and optometrists, all of whom train at the University of Auckland,” he said.

Professor Bagg said that the University of Auckland had worked hard over the past years to address the real needs of the country, with a move away from accepting students only on grades to also ensuring they represented communities such as Māori, Pacific, regional and rural students.

The University of Auckland is eager to participate in workforce solutions, working with Health NZ and the Māori Health authority to expand the health workforce across the country.

Media enquiries:

Lisa Finucane
M: 021 677 216