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Igor - Consultant Anaesthetist / Intensivist in Rotorua, NZ

My name is Igor Otahal and I am an Anaesthetist/Intensivist and I came to NZ in 30th July from the UK.

The process to come to NZ took me about 6 months from the job offer to the arrival.  The easiest part of the process was being guided by the Accent Health Recruitment and following the pathway created by Prudence and her team.The most challenging part of the process was getting the documents for the MCNZ registration checked by the EPIC - the organisation contracted by the MCNZ.

Another challenge was finding the suitable furnished accommodation in Rotorua I guess due to quite specific property and rental market and my ideas about the standards for living brought from Europe.

My first impressions of NZ were relaxed no-fuss attitude wherever you look, the average age of the cars on the roads in rural areas and mileage is unbelievable. Resilience of people - not much of warm clothes when quite cold, bare feet, frequent use of gumboots....

The best parts of NZ are people, focus on environment, landscape, history.What I miss the most is my familyMy advice if you are planning to come to NZ is to seek the help from the people knowing the business and with the record of doing the job for many like me. Accent has been great from the moment of distributing the CV, helping with the interview, later communicating with the Medical Council, assisting with travel, accommodation, telephone etc.
The support didn't disappear even after the job started, there is the genuine interest in the progress of my job and life here in NZ.

So far there are only few minor things that could be called bad but many moments on the positive side. Friendliness and support, easy attitude to life, less materialistic orientation than in Europe are the observations leading to the smooth transition.

One can't avoid being infected by the outdoor activities available in Rotorua and round. Good access to ski fields at the North Island is another positive. I was lucky to appear working where I am. I wasn't specific about any location.

The atmosphere at my work is great, there is much more pragmatic approach to the issues and people seem working with a pleasure that is slightly different thinking about my previous place. I came from the similar size hospital in similar rural setting. The job is inevitably more general, covering all needs of the patients no matter what the previous interest or specialisation I had.

The intensity of on-calls is high, there are no non-consultant doctors in anaesthetics so everything is done by our own. It doesn't bother me, I always loved hands-on work. Some my current colleagues came from the UK, they had to go through the adaptation process as well, they helped to avoid any surprises.

Generally colleagues accept what you are and give you a lot of freedom and trust. Sticking to the team spirit and focus on the job done is expected on the other hand.NZ healthcare system faces the same issues as any other healthcare systems in the world. Mainly the lack of easily accessible human resources - doctors, nurses, allied health professionals. To mitigate for this there is a lot of pathways, standards and protocols developed that is useful most of times but could be slightly rigid in some situations.

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