Hello, my name is Horace, I’m an Obstetrician and Gynaecologist from Ireland, and I recently arrived to NZ with my wife in April 2017.
I registered with Accent Health Recruitment in August and I had a firm job offer in Christmas week - just in time to book tickets for the Lions match against the Highlanders in Dunedin in June!
The whole process was all quite easy. Accent did everything!
We were collected from the airport and delivered to our hotel where there was a welcome pack waiting for us, including a bottle of Mount Difficulty Pinot Noir.
Appointments had been set up in advance with ASB Bank and the NZ Medical Council barrister in Dunedin. Our ATM cards were working by close of business the same day.
We toyed with the idea of shipping our car to New Zealand but have leased one instead. It too, was waiting for us in Dunedin.
The most challenging part of the process was renting our first house: when I thought, “What have I done?” Fortunately our understanding estate agent, Aroha met us the next morning and we had a bright, warm, double-glazed, modern house before the end of the day.
My first impressions of NZ were just how overwhelming friendly people were and so willing to be helpful. It’s just great! The outdoor way of life and the spectacular scenery are the best parts of NZ!
What I miss the most is my nine bean rows and my honey bees!
My advice if you are planning to come to NZ is to just do it! It is easier than you think. And don’t worry too much where you end up, North Island, South Island. Each place has its wonders and its pitfalls. But everywhere else is still accessible. I have no regrets at all about our move over to NZ!
Are there any major differences between your current role in NZ and your previous role in the UK?
My colleagues are American and it was much more of an adjustment for them. The NHS and the NZ health service are not that different.
Are there any similarities that have helped you orientate/transition easily?
Language is the obvious thing: no barrier there. Most of the guidelines are developed from NICE and from RCOG or RANZCOG: again very similar.
Is there anything specifically done differently in NZ that has interested you and the way you practice your profession?
The big difference in obstetrics is the LMC the lead maternity carer. Every pregnant woman has her own LMC.
The clinics are much smaller but you have to do a lot of your own paperwork and following up of results which fills in the time.
The computer system is good and joins up hospital, GP, radiology, laboratory and medical records in one accessible place.