Investment in future medical workforce being wasted

1 Oct 2014

AMA Vice President, Dr Stephen Parnis, said today that hard-fought investment in Australia’s future medical workforce was being wasted as State and Territory Governments fail to provide sufficient intern places for Australian medical graduates.

Dr Parnis said the National Medical Intern Data Management Working Group has advised that up to 240 Australian graduates may not be offered a State or Territory intern position in 2015.

“It is vital that all Australian governments cooperate to ensure that the entire medical training pipeline is resourced to meet Australia’s health needs,” Dr Parnis said.

“There are many Australian communities, particularly in rural and regional Australia, that are in desperate need of doctors.

“It is a shameful waste of a vital resource if we have hundreds of medical graduates unable to become doctors because of short-sighted governments.

“Every year we get a commitment to medical training from governments, and every year we seem to be getting a lack of commitment to provide sufficient intern positions.

“All governments must sign up to a medical training plan, and stick with it.

“Making sure that there are sufficient internships for all medical graduates is a key part of medical workforce planning.”

Dr Parnis said that planning for sufficient intern places must be part of the forthcoming review of medical intern training proposed by the Standing Council on Health earlier this year.

“The AMA understands that an announcement on who will lead that important review is imminent,” Dr Parnis said.

“But the need for properly coordinated medical training planning does not stop at the intern level.

“These interns will later need to find resident medical officer positions, and then they will be looking at vocational training opportunities in following years.

“Health Workforce Australia predicted a shortfall in vocational training places by 2016, but we are seeing evidence of that happening now.

“The National Medical Training Advisory Network (NMTAN) five-year training plan must include a comprehensive roadmap to provide sufficient training places at all stages of medical training,” Dr Parnis said.


1 October 2014


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