Plastic surgery workforce service forecast

Lead: Professor Swee Tan

This report’s vision for reconstructive plastic surgery (RPS) in New Zealand in 2027 is to ‘provide equitable, patient-centred, integrated care, as close to home as possible, through regional networks, which cooperate nationally’. The report proposes a new model of delivery to enhance patient access to RPS by establishing provincial ‘nodes’ and further developing local multidisciplinary teams.

This report is one of a number of forecasts provided by small groups of clinicians, with support from Health Workforce New Zealand (HWNZ), to build a picture of the future health and disability workforce.

Recommendations included:

  • delivering regional services closer to home to reduce the proportion of work done in the existing five tertiary ‘hubs’
  • establishing provincial ‘nodes’, where high volume, low complexity on-site services are provided
  • ensuring that plastic surgeons working at a ‘node’ are also part of the team delivering services at the ‘hub’
  • cost savings accrued by reducing unnecessary travel for patients, families and medical staff
  • developing local multidisciplinary teams, led by plastic surgeons, providing opportunities for upskilling general practitioners, nurses and allied health staff as well as extending the capabilities of other surgical specialities through multidisciplinary collaboration.
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