Medical staff numbers increase

Dozens more doctors and nurses are caring for South Canterbury patients than in previous years.

The latest data from the Ministry of Health shows a record numbers of doctors and nurses are working in public hospitals across Canterbury.

As of March 31 there were 1008 doctors and 2977 nurses employed by the Canterbury and South Canterbury District Health Boards - more than 190 extra doctors and 490 more nurses, compared with 2008.

In South Canterbury, there are 22 more doctors and 33 more nurses than in 2008.

The number of doctors contracted by the South Canterbury District Health Board, as opposed to being fulltime employees, such as locums, had dropped since 2008 from nine to five.

Chief executive Nigel Trainor said areas where there were increases recognised the reduced number of outsourced services, including GP locums.

Health Minister Tony Ryall said that nationally there were more than 7500 doctors and 21,000 nurses working in public hospitals across the country.

The Timaru Herald