Health demands to outstrip number of specialists, professionals warn

Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Thursday, 6 June 2019, 7:24PM
Ophthalmologists is one industry that will be experiencing an increase in waiting times. (Photo / Getty)

The time of an eye doctor is expected to be a precious commodity in the future, thanks to falling recruits and growing demand.

Ophthalmologists are predicted to face a 20 percent increase in workloads by 2028, just one industry where a shortage is expected.

New research from the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists predicts that health demands will have outstripped the number of specialists in the next 10 years

New Zealand Chairman of the Royal College of Ophthalmologists Dr Peter Hadden told Heather du Plessis-Allan that our ageing population will make these problems worse.

"Things like cataracts and glaucoma, those are diseases that people get as they get older, so if you've got an ageing population, that's why specialities are being particularly hit."

He says that ophthalmology is only seeing around seven trainees a year, when they likely need at least nine to properly meet demand. 

Hadden says that there isn't enough funding to properly train up specialists. 

"There are 27 training posts we provided as a college, but only 20 of those are funded." 

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