Retired and part-time doctors and nurses are urgently being called upon as part of a new Covid-19 campaign to help fight "the biggest crisis of our time".
Australasia's largest medical recruitment company, MedWorld, is teaming up with the Ministry of Health to help find the workforce needed to fight the growing Covid-19 pandemic.
"Make no mistake, we are facing the biggest crisis of our time and the demand for trained doctors and nurses will be unprecedented," MedWorld founder and managing director Dr Sam Hazledine told the Herald.
He said New Zealand needed all willing and available qualified health professionals to step out of retirement, semi-retirement or extended leave and make themselves available to assist where needed.
"How many more doctors and nurses do we need? More, as many as we can find and fast."
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The former practising doctor said our country was currently experiencing the calm before the storm.
"It's vital we build our staffing capacity before we actually need it, not once it's too late as we're seeing in countries like Italy.
"The coming months are going to be extremely challenging and demanding on our already under-staffed and pressured health system, especially with normal winter illness and its flow-on demand to come.
"We need to be ready for an emergency situation and build the army before we go into battle, not once the attack is upon us."
Hazledine said MedWorld reached out to the Government and Ministry of Health to offer assistance with the anticipated staffing crisis.
He said a plan was quickly crafted and agreed upon to enlist MedWorld's help to mobilise the workforce.
"The Government and Health Ministry are doing an excellent job in an extremely challenging situation but need extra support from companies like ours which have the infrastructure and experience to make a difference."
The official campaign is due to launch tomorrow.
Qualified doctors and nurses interested in answering the recruitment call are encouraged to go to the MedWorld website to register.
MedWorld will guide prospective doctor and nurse recruits through the next stages of the process.
If already registered, applicants will be mobilised by MedRecruit, MedWorld's sister company.
Doctors and nurses who are not currently registered will be directed through a Ministry of Health portal which has been created to help fast-track the re-registration process with assistance from the Medical Council of New Zealand and the Nursing Council of New Zealand.
Hazledine said although the process will be fast and efficient, due care will still be taken to ensure all qualifications, CVs and references are appropriately checked and that all those recruited are fit-for-purpose and work-ready.
MedRecruit will increase its own staffing capacity seven days a week to handle an anticipated increase in inquiries from doctors and nurses wishing to step up.
"This is the challenge our generation has been handed," Hazledine said.
"It's our job to rise to that challenge in these unprecedented times for medicine. We need to rally, act and be better together."
MedWorld was established by Hazledine in 2015 to raise awareness of and support doctor wellbeing.
It is a sister company to MedRecruit, launched 14 years ago to specifically handle doctor recruitment.
Queenstown-based, the company is now the largest doctor recruitment company in Australasia with supporting offices in Auckland, Melbourne, Sydney and the Gold Coast.