National Party Leader Christopher Luxon unveiled a plan to establish a medical school at the University of Waikato and increase medical school placements to address the healthcare crisis in New Zealand.
The proposed medical school aims to produce doctors who are dedicated to serving in provincial and rural areas in particular through collaboration with other universities and medical facilities across regional New Zealand.
By exposing students to the healthcare challenges specific to these regions, the medical school intends to cultivate a deeper understanding of the unique needs of rural communities, encouraging graduates to pursue careers in underserved areas.
“The new medical school will have clinical training alliances with other universities and medical facilities around regional New Zealand – a model that will deliver more doctors committed to serving in provincial and rural parts of the country," National Party leader Christopher Luxon said.
“Increasing home-grown doctors is vital to delivering the public services that New Zealanders deserve and National sees this as an essential and long-term investment."
The country currently faces long wait times in emergency departments, limited access to general practitioners, and lengthy surgical waitlists. Luxon emphasises that New Zealand does not train enough doctors to meet the needs of the growing and aging population or replace retiring healthcare professionals.
This initiative is projected to graduate an additional 220 doctors per year by 2030.
For more information, read the National Party's full press release here.