A well-oiled machine

My wife and I had always dreamed of visiting New Zealand. Quite by chance I received an email from Head Medical asking if I wanted to do a locum there. We leapt at the chance and here we are in a nice, friendly little town in the North Island called Palmerston North.

From initial email request to arriving here took just over four months - there is lots and lots of paper work to do before departure and some more when you get here. The New Zealand Medical Council is incredibly careful about credentialing and registration. But Caroline and Gemma were up to the task. Explaining, re-explaining when I got it wrong, always efficient, knowledgeable and patient. They smoothed the path to obtaining a work permit, getting temporary registration with council, organising job interviews and salary, organising accommodation, organising transport and all the many, many other little bits required for moving to another country. They made my life very easy.

When I arrived I was armed with maps, names and phone numbers. Everything proceeded like a well-oiled machine. Almost all expenses involved with the move including airfares, visa and Medical registration costs as well as indemnity insurance have been refunded. Most of this came from a very generous settling in allowance from the District Health Board. 

I am paid by the DHB, not by the agency so there is no subtraction from my salary for ongoing expenses. There is no pound of flesh and from what I hear from my colleagues this seems by far the more preferable way of doing things. It does mean that I have to pay my own rent and energy expenses from my salary but there was enough money left over from the settling in allowance to cover car rental costs (I am only here for a 4-5 month locum).

So far I have found New Zealanders to be an extremely friendly bunch who live in an incredibly beautiful country. I was privileged to attend an official Maori welcoming ceremony during my first week at the hospital, a very moving experience. My departmental (Radiology) work has also been a positive experience.

The idea of working here was to earn local currency while having enough time and money to tour, get a bit of foreign medical experience to add diversity and maybe have a bit of NZ culture rub off on us. I am sure we will realise all of these aims and our participation has largely been made possible by Head Medical - they did not pay me to write this testimonial!

Dr Phil H, Consultant Radiologist, Palmerston North, New Zealand

 

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Dr Phil H, Consultant Radiologist, Palmerston North, New Zealand

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