Why New Zealand’s South Island is the Right Prescription for Health Professionals

Jun 19, 2018

As professions go, few can be classed as more important than that of healthcare workers. Whether you’re a GP, nurse, pediatrician or dentist, the profession stretches back thousands of years into human history – and will likely do so for another several thousand years into the future.

Here in New Zealand, the government and other healthcare companies are on the lookout for top migrant talent to help fill the gaps in the Kiwi workforce, and we’re not just talking about the big cities – rural towns and villages need help, too! That’s why we’re promoting the idea of moving South Island to take up a post with the Southern District Health Board (Southern DHB) – see what you think!

Helping the health of a nation

Over 40 healthcare occupations are listed on the New Zealand government’s official Skills Shortage List. The List is designed to help skilled migrants acquire a work visa, so it’s a huge bonus to find your particular field on there. Doctors, surgeons, midwives, nurses – they all make the cut.

New Zealand now states that almost 400 new specialists will be required each year to help cope with demand, as well as some 25,000 nurses by 2030. Such numbers mean that healthcare professionals stand an excellent chance of landing a plum role in New Zealand – and there’s no reason you can’t make the mesmerising South Island your new home from home.

As a migrant, it’s unlikely you’ll feel lonely once you take up your new role. The government states that almost half of New Zealand’s healthcare force (41.5 per cent) trained overseas, and of the near 15,000 doctors on the New Zealand Medical Registrar, a whopping 44 per cent studied for their primary qualification outside NZ too.

What kind of healthcare professionals are Southern DHB looking for?

As the health board covering much of the lower half of the South Island, Southern DHB are after a broad variety of different skillsets and occupational specialists. Even so, there are a few choice positions that remain heavily in demand.

Resident medical officers remain near the top of their list, alongside general surgeons. Emergency department staff are also in hot demand, as are orthodontists, health officers and medical registrars. So, you can see that the whole spectrum is covered, but it’s always worth checking out our jobs board to see if your specific field appears.

Just who are Southern DHB?

In short, Southern DHB is the NZ Ministry of Health’s arm that looks after the healthcare needs of Kiwis living south of the Waitaki River. That’s well over 300,000 people, covering Queenstown, Central Otago, Dunedin, Southland and everywhere in between. As such, Southern DHB takes care of the biggest geographic region of NZ’s 20 health boards, so it’s easy to see why they need more hands!

You won’t have to catch a flight to New Zealand to meet with the Southern DHB team, however. Not at all – they are coming to the UK this July for a couple of weeks, and they want speak to experienced healthcare professionals like you. Southern DHB will be present at Working In’s expos at London, Manchester and Edinburgh, and if you’ve got the stuff, who knows – maybe you’ll be taking a flight back with them!

You’ll have the opportunity to talk about your skills, qualification and experience, and you’ll also receive advice on moving to New Zealand, including Immigration New Zealand and Medical Council of New Zealand requirements. We look forward to meeting you!