Voluntary Bonding Scheme – 2019 intake

The 2019 Intake

The Voluntary Bonding Scheme (VBS, or the Scheme) is a practical initiative run by the Ministry of Health to encourage newly qualified health professionals to work in the communities and specialties that need them most, and to retain essential health professionals in New Zealand. Those on the scheme receive annual payments to help repay their student loan, or as top-up income.

A report is attached below which details the 2019 VBS registrants accepted to the Scheme.

Please do not hesitate to make contact (vbs@health.govt.nz) should you have any queries or comments regarding registrants for the 2019 intake of the Scheme, or the Scheme itself.

Profession Accepted registrants (2019 intake)
New Graduate Doctors 27
General Practice Medical Trainees 35
Nurses 216
Midwives 67
Sonographers 9
Dentists 3
Total 357

2019 Intake Registrants

All 357 eligible registrants for the 2019 intake were accepted.

The registrants strongly reflect a number of the Government’s key workforce priority areas. These priorities include (but are not limited to):

  • registrants who identify as Māori or Pasifika;
  • new graduate midwives;
  • new graduate registered nurses working in mental health and addictions, or for Māori or Pasifika primary care health providers;
  • rural and non-urban general practice trainees;
  • sonographers in publicly funded facilities.

The 2019 intake features the highest number of registered mental health nurses (148 registrants), new graduate midwives (67) and general practice trainees (35) ever within an intake of the Scheme.

The 2019 intake also features strong responses from Māori (73) and Pasifika (40) registrants, which contributes to health workforces that are more representative of the populations they serve.

Analysis of historical workforce data indicates that registered nurses on the Scheme have higher retention in hard-to-staff specialties compared to nurses not on the Scheme. Of graduate nurses who have registered for the Scheme, the retention rate after five years is up to 27 percent higher, than those graduates who did not register for the Scheme.

Increased retention of nurses in a hard-to-staff specialty saves employers (predominantly DHBs) from having to recruit and train a graduate nurse to replace an experienced nurse. The Ministry of Health has used The Treasury’s cost benefit analysis tool to estimate the return on investment of nurses on the Scheme. Based on the increased retention of VBS nurses, for every $1 the Government invests in VBS nurses, employers save $1.90 in future recruitment and training costs.

The Scheme also provides important geographic location incentives for other Scheme professions.

Information for 2019 intake registrants

If you have been accepted for the 2019 intake you ought to have received a letter confirming that we have accepted your registration.

For now, all you need to do is:

  • abide by the 2019 Terms and Conditions for your profession
  • advise us via email (vbs@health.govt.nz) if you have had any change in postal or email address, or
  • advise us if your career plans have changed and you no longer wish to proceed with your registration.

Full terms and conditions for each of the eligible health professions for the 2019 intake are available on the Terms and Conditions page.

2019 Voluntary Bonding Scheme Intake Health Professions, Hard-to-staff Communities and Specialties

Doctors – New Graduate Entry Opportunity (2019 Intake (2018 graduates))

Hard-to-staff communities:

  • Lakes DHB
  • Northland DHB
  • South Canterbury DHB
  • Southland Region
  • Tairawhiti DHB
  • Taranaki DHB
  • Thames Hospital
  • Wairarapa DHB
  • Wairau Hospital
  • West Coast DHB
  • Whakatane Hospital
  • Whanganui DHB

Hard-to-staff specialties:

  • Rural Hospital Medicine
  • Pathology
  • Psychiatry
  • General Practice (in specific communities for General Practitioners, see below)

Doctors – Postgraduate General Practice Entry Opportunity (PGY3-6), who commence GPEP1, 2, or 3 in December 2018

Hard-to-staff communities:

  • Bay of Plenty DHB (excluding Tauranga and Whakatane urban)
  • Canterbury DHB (excluding, Christchurch other than Banks Peninsula)
  • Hawke’s Bay DHB
  • Lakes DHB
  • Midcentral DHB
  • Nelson Marlborough DHB (excluding Nelson/Richmond)
  • Northland DHB (excluding Whangarei urban)
  • South Canterbury DHB
  • Southern DHB (excluding Dunedin, Mosgiel and Invercargill)
  • Tairawhiti DHB
  • Taranaki DHB
  • Waikato DHB (excluding Hamilton and Cambridge)
  • Wairarapa DHB
  • West Coast DHB
  • Whanganui DHB

Nurses (2019 Intake (2018 graduates))

Hard-to-staff communities:

  • South Canterbury DHB
  • Wairoa District
  • West Coast DHB

Hard-to-staff specialties:

  • Aged Care (aged residential care and older persons' health services)
  • Mental Health (hospital and community, including addiction services)
  • District Nursing
  • Well Child/Tamariki Ora
  • Primary/Practice Nursing within:
    • Maori or Pacific Providers
    • the Auckland DHB region
    • the Counties Manukau DHB region
    • the Waitemata DHB region
    • the Taranaki DHB region

Midwives – DHB Employed (2019 Intake (2018 graduates))

Hard to-staff communities:

  • Auckland DHB
  • Bay of Plenty DHB
  • Canterbury DHB
  • Capital & Coast DHB
  • Counties Manukau DHB
  • Hutt Valley DHB
  • Lakes DHB
  • Northland DHB
  • Waikato DHB
  • Waitemata DHB

Midwives – Lead Maternity Carers (2019 Intake (2018 graduates))

Hard to-staff communities:

  • Auckland DHB
  • Bay of Plenty DHB
  • Counties Manukau DHB
  • Lakes DHB
  • MidCentral DHB
  • Waikato DHB
  • Waitemata DHB

Sonographers (2019 Intake (2018 graduates))

Hard to-staff communities:

  • Publicly funded health facilities

Dentists (2019 Intake (2018 graduates))

Hard to-staff communities:

Any of the eight Māori oral health providers listed below:

  • Te Hiku Hauora – Kaitaia  
  • Ngāti Hine Health Trust – Kawakawa 
  • Raukura Hauora o Tainui – Hamilton
  • Te Manu Toroa – Tauranga  
  • Tipu Ora – Rotorua 
  • Ngati Porou Hauora – Te Puia Springs 
  • Te Taiwhenua o Heretaunga – Hastings  
  • Ora Toa PHO – Porirua  

OR

practices located in rural or remote areas (to be assessed on a case by case basis prior to your confirmation on the Scheme).

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