UK Doctors thinking about New Zealand in 2021/2022

UK Doctors thinking about New Zealand in 2021/2022

Our specialist recruiter for Consultants in New Zealand, Caroline O'Hagan, provides insight into making the move to NZ in 2021/2022. 

We continue to receive inquiries from Doctors keen to explore living and working in New Zealand in late 2021 and 2022. Our New Zealand clients too are continuing to recruit and are particularly interested in those medical specialists (consultants) who are eligible for the Locum Tenens pathway.

Specialities such as general medicine, geriatrics, psychiatry, radiology, emergency medicine, obstetrics and gynaecology, and more.

I'd like to outline the requirements for this type of registration and how we can help if you would like to explore opportunities in New Zealand.

This is an ideal pathway if you’re not looking for a long term move, but you perhaps want to experience a comparable health system for a year, explore the country, have a short term change of scenery, or enjoy a taster of the NZ lifestyle before committing to something more long term.

Eligibility Criteria

‘Special Purpose Locum Tenens’ is a short-term pathway that allows specialist doctors to work in New Zealand for up to 12 months (max). There are some eligibility criteria to consider before applying.

You must:

  • have a formal job offer (which Head Medical can assist with)
  • provide three (3) references from registered medical specialists (in the same medical speciality as you) who have been working with you in the last 3 years for a period of at least 6 months. This requirement for referees is very important.

*For the majority of the medical specialities, this means specialist qualifications gained in the UK (via CCT) and USA (Board Certification). For some specialities, this may also include specialist qualifications from Ireland, Canada and South Africa

  • have been in active clinical practice for at least 20 hours per week for 22 of the last 36 months at the point of submitting your application
  • have had at least six months' practice under the jurisdiction of another medical regulatory authority (e.g. GMC), within the 12 months preceding the application - and you must provide evidence of satisfactory participation in any recertification programmes required by the authority. If no such requirements have been set, you must provide evidence of ongoing professional development during this period
  • satisfy the MCNZ ‘fitness for registration’ requirements
  • satisfy the MCNZ English language policy requirements
  • must have completed the EPIC verification process

*all relevant qualifications must be verified by ECFMG using the EPIC system, along with your identity. Candidates are encouraged to create an online EPIC account and complete this step early on to void delays commencing in post. Log on to EPIC here and read the FAQs section about how to get started

Once lodged, a Locum Tenens application takes 20 working days to process, if fully complete.

The whole paperwork process for this pathway tends to take approx 3-4 months, but we currently advise allowing 4-6 months once a job offer has been accepted, to take into account the additional time to secure a managed isolation place (quarantine) which is a requirement when entering NZ currently. Our Head Medical NZ team can assist with the paperwork.

Our specialist recruiter Caroline O’Hagan is based in New Zealand, while Eilidh Angus, our Senior Registration Adviser is based in our Scotland office in the UK. This is ideal for you as the doctor when liaising with our NZ clients and the Medical Council of New Zealand.

Next Steps

So, if New Zealand has always been a dream destination and you’re a UK trained doctor who has been thinking about a move in late 2021 or 2022, please get in touch.

Email with a copy of your CV and we can explore your options together.

We hope everyone remains safe and well, as much as possible during this time. We thank the many doctors, nurses and other health professionals for the amazing work you are doing all over the world. We’re all in this together.

New Job, New Lifestyle. New Zealand.

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