Tim and the panel are wading into the public healthcare debate this week to discuss our domestic healthcare professional shortage, and its impacts.

New Zealand is facing a shortage of GPs. Currently we are domestically training roughly 200 GPs per year. According to General Practitioners President Tim Molloy this figure should be 300 at bare minimum. 

This shortage of GPs stepping into the field is compounded by an increase in workload for many current practitioners. It is feared this could accelerate many of their retirement plans.

A drastic increase of funding into the training of new GPs is needed to combat this growing crisis.

What impact will this shortage have on New Zealand? Will online services such as WebMD fill the void for those seeking help here, particularly those in rural areas being hardest hit?

Tim will discuss this with this week's panel: 

Barry Soper and former Prime Minister John Key

Barry Soper is an extremely experienced political broadcast journalist. Soper began working back in the 1970s, in the years since he has carved out a career commentating on politics on radio and television. He is also the longest serving member of the Parliamentary Press Gallery, of which he has been chairman for three terms. Soper is the Politcal Editor for Newstalk ZB.

Billy T Award Winner Pax Assadi

Pax Assadi joins this week's panel. The young comedian has only been on the radar since 2012, but already has several accolades and credits to his name. Assadi took the 2013 Billy T James award, 2015 NZCG Breakthrough Comedian of the year and Best Male Comedian awards. He was most recently nominated for 2016's Fred Dagg award. You get it, he's bloody funny, and has the metal to prove it.


Professor Ngaire Kerse MBChB, PhD

Professor Ngaire Kerse MBChB, PhD, is our final panel member. Kerse is Head of School of Population Health and a Professor of General Practice and Primary Healthcare at the University of Auckland. On top of her research projects, she is internationally recognised as an expert in maximising health for older people and the impact of physical activity on the development of disability. It goes without saying that Kerse knows her stuff.

You can watch Banter Tuesdays at 8.30pm on Freeview 13 and Sky 23. You can also live stream it here.