Overseas Training Doctors and the rural workforce
AMA President Michael Gannon says the nation needs to do more to encourage doctors to live, work and train in under-served rural areas. While changes have been proposed to remove 41 health jobs from the Skilled Occupations List, action is urgently needed to encourage and support doctors in training to live, work and train in rural areas, and to provide a positive training experience.
“Country practice is a very, very rewarding professional career and evidence shows that junior doctors who are given opportunities to train in rural areas are far more likely to work there,” said Dr Gannon.
Dr John Zorbas, Chair, AMACDT agrees. “As increasing numbers of local medical graduates attain specialist qualifications, we need to be able to harness the benefits of a larger locally trained medical workforce. The AMA has put forward a raft of positive policies to encourage doctors in training to live, train and remain in rural areas. The AMA proposal for Regional Training Networks (RTNS) recognises the importance of a strong rural and regional generalist and specialist workforce to meet the health needs of Australians, particularly those in regional and rural areas.”
In addition to its proposal for RTNs, the AMA has developed a comprehensive suite of policies that have the potential to make a real difference for rural patients. These include the Community Residency Proposal, the expansion of the Specialist Training Program, increasing the quotas for medical students and changing the ROS obligations for BMP to 12 months.