A GP in New Zealand has been trying to find a doctor to share his practice workload for the past two years without success.
Despite offering a whopping $400,000-plus (€ 243,806), plus half his practice, 12 weeks holidays, a four day week and no night or weekend work, Dr Alan Kenny told the New Zealand Herald he has had no takers.
“I can offer them a really, really amazing income; it’s incredible,” Dr Kenny told the NZ Herald. “My practice has exploded in the last year and the more patients you list, the more money you get. But it just gets too much at the end of the day.”
“Last year, I cancelled a holiday because I couldn’t get a locum…and this year I am probably going to have to cancel a holiday…and it’s just tough for me.”
The country doctor fears it’s the job’s rural setting that is discouraging applicants.
While there are six doctors at the practice Dr Kenny’s daughter Sarah came to join her father at the practice two years ago and is the only New Zealander at the surgery.
“If it’s hard enough to get doctors to work alongside me, it’s going to be a devil of a job to get doctors to replace me.”
According to The New Zealand Rural General Practice Network’s deputy chief executive, Linda Reynolds most vacant GP positions in NZ are filled by overseas applicants who are wooed by an average salary of between NZ$150,000 to $280,000.
“We rely heavily on international medical graduates, but the majority who come stay on a short term basis. The demand is constant and growing,” Reynolds told The Guardian.
She also added that most vacancies took between two and three years on average to fill because of factors like isolation, lack of schooling options and social activities, and poor access to internet.