Media release

South Australia reneges on medical intern places agreement

AMA President, Professor Brian Owler, said today that the Commonwealth needs to hold the South Australian Government to account over its failure to commit to providing enough medical internships to meet the growing number of graduates from South Australian medical schools.

In 2006, as part of COAG processes, the States and Territories were granted extra medical school places by the Commonwealth on the condition they guaranteed to provide intern training places for Commonwealth-funded domestic medical students once they completed medical school.

Professor Owler said it now appears that South Australia is going to breach this agreement, with projections suggesting that 22 domestic graduates will miss out on internships in 2017, and up to 39 will miss out in 2018.

“Medical training does not stop at the gates of medical school,” Professor Owler said.

“Graduates must go on to complete a 12-month internship, pre-vocational training, and then specialist training.

“We have seen a massive investment in extra medical school places, which must not be allowed to go to waste.

“With the other States and Territories struggling to provide enough intern places, there is no guarantee that South Australian graduates will be able to find places interstate.

“The South Australian community deserves a well-trained medical workforce in sufficient numbers to meet demand, with doctors working in the locations and specialties where they are needed.

“The South Australian Government needs to comply with its COAG commitments, and outline a plan as to how it will provide the required number of intern places.

“It is also important to that all governments look beyond the intern year.

“With medical workforce planning data showing shortfalls in specialist training places, we need investment across the medical training pipeline,” Professor Owler said.


19 October 2015

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