As in most countries, the fastest growing component of public expenditure over the past several decades has been health. This has been both reflected by, and the result of, technological advances in healthcare and increasing demand pressures. The exponential growth of medical technologies, combined with an ever increasing anticipation by the public of health services and their entitlement to such services, indicate that these pressures to increase the investment in healthcare and medical staff charged with the responsibility of running such systems, will continue well into the future.
According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) in New Zealand, the future investment in healthcare will continue to grow substantially. Predicting that healthcare spending as a proportion of GDP could easily double by 2050. The dedication to a superior level of public health in New Zealand is revered by many nations.
One of the primary health mandates in New Zealand, the Primary Health Care Strategy, envisages a health care system that reduces the social gaps in health outcomes by improving access to care by all those residing in New Zealand, to engage in more preventative care and to develop integrated, community based models of care to better able meet the requirements of minority groups, while dealing more efficiently with patients who required chronic care. Part of the strategy acknowledges the role of qualified, experienced and professional medical staff in achieving the aims of the strategy. However, like many other nations, the lack of staff to fill vacant medical positions is causing some concern to both public and private healthcare institutions. The decreasing numbers of nurseries is causing the most concern.
Issues have been raised as to the international competitiveness of New Zealand in attracting nurses to the country, as the smallest nation in some instances can not compete with the wages that other first world nations offer. However, in recent years, this gap has dramatically reduced, and wages are reflective of international rates (given the NZ dollar exchange rate). What the New Zealand medical fraternity offers the professional nurse, and has become recognized for, are the friendly, co-operative and satisfying work environments that are collaborative and encourage automation in the nursing role, while promoting personal and career development.
The employment of staff to fill nursing jobs in New Zealand will continue to expand further into the future, as demographic and population trends increasing pressure on the health system. Why not be part of that change and develop your nursing career in the land of the long white cloud?