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District health boards spend millions on hiring overseas staff

District health boards are plugging a nation-wide medical skills shortfall by spending millions on hiring overseas workers to staff hospitals. 

Figures gathered under the Official Information Act show last year 17 of the country's 20 district health boards (DHBs) spent more than $4 million ($4,026,359.69) on bringing hundreds of doctors and specialists to New Zealand. 

They shelled out for accommodation, flights, agency fees and other relocation fees like the cost of shipping goods, on top of worker salaries. 

The biggest spender was Waikato DHB who spent nearly $1 million ($946,976) on 87 staff members to work at Hamilton and Thames hospitals including anaesthetists, haematologists, obstetricians, registrars, and neurologists. 

 (Source: Stuff 30.4.2017)

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