Junior doctors wanting jobs at Timaru Hospital have trebled in the past four years.
The South Canterbury District Health Board (SCDHB) has already received 106 applications from junior doctors for the 2013/14 financial year, up from 36 in 2009/10.
SCDHB chief executive Nigel Trainor said there were five vacancies within the DHB at the moment, full and part-time roles. All five were senior positions.
Fulltime jobs yet to be filled include an age care physician, general physician and anaesthetist. A palliative medicine specialist and ophthalmologist are required for part-time roles.
Earlier this week it was revealed an oversupply of medical graduates has left would-be junior doctors out of jobs nationally.
In a reversal of the previous workforce shortage, trainee doctors have this year been faced with job uncertainty as district health boards grapple with "unanticipated" interest in hospital placements.
Last-minute internship positions have had to be created in hospitals nationwide to deal with the influx, forcing a two-week delay in job offers.
SCDHB has agreed to increase its graduate numbers by one. That position will be filled by someone with a post-graduate year one qualification in the coming year.
"Nationally there are more graduates than positions, therefore SCDHB has agreed to increase our numbers by an additional position," Mr Trainor said.
In the past 10 years the DHB has increased its number of junior doctors from four to six. It will increase that to seven with the one-off agreement next year, he said. All junior doctors already working for the SCDHB are New Zealand residents and New Zealand graduates.
One aspect setting SCDHB apart from some of its counterparts was its emphasis on employing junior doctors as house officers, who work closely every day with consultants or senior doctors. This process means it does not employ "more senior level" training doctors, known as registrars.
New Zealand medical graduates are often considered for junior roles before international students.
"Our first preference is New Zealand medical graduates. In times of shortages we turn to international graduates," Mr Trainor said.
While 376 New Zealand residents were finally offered positions nationally last week - 49 more internships than in 2012 - international students who have trained here have not been so lucky. An estimated 30 students have missed out, New Zealand Medical Students Association president Phillip Chao said.
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