Review Article

Learning from those who have gone before: strengthening the rural allied health workforce in Aotearoa New Zealand


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Jane E George1
Master of Social Welfare (MSW), Associate Director of Allied Health *

Peter John Larmer2 DHSc, Associate Professor and Head

Nicola Kayes3 PhD, Director of the Centre for Person Centred Research


1 Allied Health, West Coast District Health Board, PO Box 387, Greymouth 7840, New Zealand

2, 3 School of Clinical Sciences, Auckland University of Technology, Private Bag 92006, Auckland 1142, New Zealand

ACCEPTED: 26 June 2019

early abstract:

The pipeline for the Allied Health, Scientific and Technical workforce of Aotearoa New Zealand is under growing pressure, with many health providers finding recruitment and retention increasingly difficult.  For health providers in rural settings, the challenges are even greater, with fewer applicants and shorter tenures. As the health needs of rural communities increases, along with expectations of uptake of technologies and the Ministry of Health’s strategy to ensure care is provided closer to home, being able to retain and upskill the diminishing workforce requires new ways of thinking. Understanding the activity that has been undertaken by Medical and Nursing workforces in New Zealand and abroad, as well as the work of the Australian Allied Health workforce provides context and opportunities for New Zealand.  The challenge is for educators, professional bodies, the Ministry of Health and health providers to develop new ways of thinking about developing a rural workforce for the Allied Health Scientific and Technical Professions.