In my job as a medical recruiter, I spend my time connecting doctors and clinics across the motu.

The relationships that we build with our candidates, clients, and industry leaders gives us a deep understanding of the primary care space, a view of current challenges and needs, frustrations, limitations, opportunities, innovations.I have noticed a trend with certain topics of conversation at each conference I attend.

The points below summarise the main conversations from Rotorua in 2024:

Asynchronous Care

Many practices are utilising remote GPs to offers support with inbox and scripts. We are told that the benefit of this support is that it reduces the administration time for in-clinic GPs. As an agency, we have noticed that this work is often a fantastic fit for GPs with young children who want to fit work around “mummy hours”. It has been rewarding to see more flexible working patterns being accommodated within primary care.


This was THE topic of 2023 and since then we have seen an enormous surge in clinics supporting their patients with this service, and with GPs who want to offer locum support via telehealth either alongside their in-clinic face to face (F2F) perm role, alongside in-clinic F2F locum positions, or as a stand-alone service (i.e. working as a telehealth locum 100% of the time). The consensus seems to be that telehealth has become an essential service within primary care, but that it should complement, rather than replace, F2F support. The number of GPs offering telehealth support means that there is often a surplus of supply. More predictable patterns of supply and demand would ensure that workforce needs could be more reliably met.

The Power of a Good Team

For GPs who we spoke with who had a high level of job satisfaction, the common theme was a strong team with great support. It seems that great support is born from a team with a range of skills sets that when put together allow for a full scope of patient care (within the parameters of primary care), at all stages of the care cycle. A team structure that enables GPs to work on a range of cases, not just those with complex needs, makes 15-minute appointments and associated paperwork more manageable. The chorus of request for 20-minute appts (or longer!) will no doubt echo for some time to come however this is inextricably tied to…

Financial Viability

The gap between clinical capability and commercial viability seems to be increasing. Frustration at the lack of progress around the C word was keenly felt and until there is a change in the funding model, many GP owners/directors are left with no choice but to keep on keeping on until the tide changes.


Unsurprisingly, the most common question we were asked by clinics was around recruitment and whether we are still getting interest from international doctors. The answer is YES. Our pipeline of GPs is constantly increasing, and NZ continues to be a hugely attractive country to settle. Pressures on primary care are being felt globally and many are finding relief and balance here in NZ. Matching a GP to the right area of NZ based on their personal needs and preferences is step 1, matching them to the right clinic within that area is step 2. Asking the right questions and taking the time to get the right match will go a long way toward ensuring better job satisfaction will which in turn ensure higher rates of retention and stronger, healthier teams.

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