Health Minister Jonathan Coleman says "a record number" of doctors and nurses are taking care of patients in Hawke's Bay District Health Board.

"Our dedicated health workforce is making a difference to the lives of patients in Hawke's Bay. More doctors and nurses means faster treatment and better experiences for patients and their families," Dr Coleman said.

As of March 31 there were more than 230 doctor full-time equivalents and 770 nurse full-time equivalents employed by the DHB. "That's 50 more doctors and over 140 more nurses compared to 2008."

Nationally, there were more than 7880 doctor full-time equivalents and 22,500 nurse full-time equivalents employed by DHBs.


The number of doctors and nurses working in our public health system has increased by more than 6100 since 2008, an increase of 25 per cent.

This includes about 1100 more senior doctors, an increase of 36 per cent, and almost 1100 more senior nurses, an increase of 40 per cent. "New Zealanders need a health workforce that is well equipped to handle current and future demands," Dr Coleman said.

"In February I released the Health of the Health Workforce Report which outlined the challenges facing the sector, such as an ageing workforce and staffing rural positions.

"Work programmes to help address these issues continue. This includes the Voluntary Bonding Scheme, which encourages health practitioners to practise in specialties and regions that are traditionally difficult to staff."

The health workforce is supported by the extra $400 million being invested into the sector this year, taking the health budget to a record $15.9 billion.

A copy of the latest health workforce report is available on the Ministry of Health's website, at