News.co.nz: Nurses earn more than doctors, but what’s the real difference?
Read moreThe Bureau of Statistics released its latest pay and benefits figures today, showing that nurses are making more money than other occupations in the health service.
The average annual pay for nurses in New Zealand is $1,946, compared with $1.2 million for doctors, $1 million for midwives and $721,000 for dentists.
The statistics also revealed that New Zealand’s nurse shortages are growing faster than other professions.
In 2018, the country had the third-lowest nurse shortage in the OECD, behind only Australia and New Zealand.
It’s a situation that is expected to worsen in the next five years, with shortages predicted to increase by more than 40 per cent in 2021.
“The average length of stay in New Z is almost twice the length of a typical patient, with over 3,000 nurses working for New Zealand hospitals,” the Bureau of Statistic said.
“As the shortage worsens, it is projected that more than 5,000 New Zealand nurses will leave the profession by 2020.”
Nurses who work in the private sector have the highest median salary, while public sector nurses and nurses working on contracts earn the lowest.
Nurses earn an average of $1m a year, compared to $1 in the public sector.
Nurse pay is also increasing.
The median pay for full-time nurses in 2019 was $1 for a full-service nurse, while full-day nurses in 2018 earned $859,400.
For the full-year 2018-19, the Bureau estimated nurses would earn $831,400, while private nurses would be making $1million.
The Bureau said nurses would also see their median salary rise by 2 per cent a year.
Nursing is expected in 2020 to see an increase of $3.6 billion in total payouts to healthcare providers and the public purse, with more than $2.6bn in annual health care spending expected to be made available through the new National Health Insurance system.
The increase in the number of nurses will come as a surprise to many, as it was forecast to be one of the biggest driver of the population’s health care system growth in the 2020s.NHS data from 2021 shows that the number has grown by 13 per cent over the last five years.
Nationally, nurses earn an annual average of about $7,500, compared from $6,800 in 2020.
The number of people receiving care from the NHS has also risen by more that 10 per cent.
In the past five years there have been nearly two million more people treated in hospital, up from around 900,000 in 2020, the BIS said.
The Government plans to spend more than US$100 billion over the next three years to ensure all of New Zealanders get the best possible healthcare, including in nursing homes.
The new National Nurse Training Authority will be the largest employer of nurses in the country, with a staff of about 1,200.NHA chief executive Karen McLean said it was essential that we had the workforce we needed.
“Nurses are the backbone of the New Zealand health system, they have a vital role to play in delivering safe, high-quality health care and they are also the most efficient workers in our society,” she said.