AMA calls on COAG to urgently develop a national medical workforce strategy

11 May 2018

The AMA is calling on the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) to urgently commission a National Medical Workforce Strategy to address significant workforce challenges and implement long-term workforce planning to better meet Australia’s future health care needs.

The call is based on one of the key recommendations of the outcomes report, released in early May, of the AMA Medical Workforce and Training Summit, which was held in March this year.

“A National Medical Workforce Strategy, developed with strong input from the profession, is critical to getting all stakeholders on the same page to achieve policies that will deliver the future medical workforce that the community needs.

“Australia does not need any more medical school places. We have seen record growth in medical student numbers, well above the OECD average.

“The former Health Workforce Australia projected a potential medical workforce oversupply in the years ahead.

“The Summit participants clearly recognised that the focus needs to shift away from increasing medical school places towards giving medical students more opportunities to train in rural areas.

“We need to deliver postgraduate training places in the areas and specialties where they are most needed.”

The Summit highlighted a number of other key areas for action including:

  • the need to better support generalism;
  • a focus on matching training with community need;
  • more opportunities for specialist training in rural areas;
  • the development of a strong rural training pathway;
  • supporting careers in undersupplied specialties; and
  • the establishment of the National Rural Generalist Pathway.

Read the AMA Medical Workforce and Training Summit 2018 Report