Apart from the fact that New Zealand doctors have working conditions and education allowances that doctors in Australia regularly salivate over, have no need to worry about medical indemnity insurance, work with nursing staff who in general are far more co-operative than Australian nurses, and otherwise live in a beautifully scenic vista, they have clearly drawn the short straw.
I don't know where this job in Australia where an intern is paid $75 an hour is, but I'm moving there once I find out!
Hospital crisis looms
By STEPHEN FORBES - Western Leader | Tuesday, 23 October 2007
An ongoing shortage of junior doctors is a threat to the delivery of services at Waitakere Hospital.
That's the message from the New Zealand Resident Doctors Association.
Spokeswoman Deborah Powell says too many of country's medical students are leaving our shores as soon as they graduate.
"This year we've lost 20 to 30 graduate doctors straight to Australia," she says.
"They aren't even starting practice here.
"There's no point producing them if they don't start to practice here.
"We can't continue to deliver services if we don't have the doctors to do it."
Waitakere Hospital falls under the jurisdiction of the Waitemata District Health Board where the vacancy rate for junior doctors is 34 percent.
Mrs Powell says remuneration is a factor, with the health boards offering a 3.3 percent pay rise over the next year.
She says that is not enough to attract young doctors.
"We're getting to the point where there won't be a doctor available to see you when you need one."
Mrs Powell says international recruitment is not the answer because New Zealand's pay rates are too low to compete.
She says resident doctors start on $23 an hour here, compared to $75 an hour in Australia.
"What we have to do is retain our own doctors."
Rachel Haggerty, the health board general manager of adult health services, says the problem is nationwide.
She says Waitemata is working closely with the Auckland district and Counties Manukau health boards to address the issue and reduce the workloads now faced by junior doctors.
"The problems we are facing are no different than any other hospitals around the country," Ms Haggerty says.