Concerns New Zealand's doctor shortage is getting even worse

Maintaining a healthy supply of medical specialists is a key topic of discussion this week among some of our top health workers.

Hundreds of highly trained doctors are in Wellington at their annual specialists’ conference.

Their union says it’s time to address a range of issues contributing to doctor shortages in our hospitals which are in danger of getting even worse.

It comes as nationwide there's a 24 per cent shortage of specialists, with 43 per cent of the ones currently here trained overseas.

Neurological Foundation Clinical Chair Professor Alan Barber is worried about the future for neurology here.

“There are clear pathways to get into neurology and we're going to be short of neurologists in the next few years.

“We're training more and more but I don't think it's enough,” Barber said.

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With no clear data, future needs are unclear.

“There's no question there are workforce issues in the pipeline of future talent. There are some major challenges we have to face up to,” Health Minister Andrew Little says.