17 Oct 2020

Medical recruiter 'inundated' as overseas doctors seek work in NZ

11:49 am on 17 October 2020

By Tessa Guest

Medical recruitment agencies have seen an overwhelming increase in overseas doctors and other medical workers wanting to relocate to New Zealand.

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File photo. Photo: 123RF

Managing director of Accent Medical Recruitment Prudence Thomson has worked in this field for 25 years, and has never seen interest as high as it has been in the last four months.

"We have been inundated from the US," she said.

"We have had probably ten-fold increase from the US and I expect that to increase up until the third of November with the US elections, and then depending on what happens over there we will continue to increase. We have been absolutely flooded, also from the UK, Singapore and Australia."

Normally 2700 international nurses and 1600 international doctors are employed in New Zealand each year.

Thomson said the high interest has been prompted by New Zealand's success in handling Covid-19 compared to other countries.

"We've had a very, very positive response from people from overseas , and it's mainly because of Covid and changes in the political scene in the US."

Mel Mckendrick-Marano shifted from California to West Auckland in mid-July with her partner and two young children, after considering the move for a few years.

Mckendrick-Marano, a nurse, said she appreciated that she could get her daughter back in school rather than having to do more online learning.

"It was exciting for us to be able to come here," she said.

"We could just move about in a country that's more unified in the way they handle things."

Thomson said Covid-19 had hastened the process of medical workers arriving in New Zealand despite a two-week managed isolation period.

"The quickest we've moved someone including their verification of their registration and their visa was three-and-a-half weeks, but that was pretty important to get him here quickly for waiting lists in New Zealand."

The process usually takes three to four months altogether.

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