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Victorian election commitment to incentivise medical students to become GPs is a welcome start
24 November 2022
The Australian Medical Students Association (AMSA) welcomes the Victorian Labor Party’s election commitment to spend $32 million to incentivise medical graduates to become GPs.
“We are pleased to see the state government propose a package to provide $30,000 top-up payments for first-year general practitioner trainees. As medical graduates transition from hospital training into general practice, they often face a significant pay-cut that can be a barrier,” said Jasmine Davis, president of AMSA.
“With only 15% of graduating medical students interested in a career in general practice, we need to focus on removing such barriers, and positioning general practice as the go-to career for graduates,” said Ms Davis.
Following a roundtable discussion in early October hosted by AMSA with major stakeholders in medical education, health workforce and specialty training, AMSA has released a report titled:
Medical Student Interest in General Practice - Reversing the Trend: Recommendations for Government, Universities and General Practice Colleges.
“Finances are one part of the active disincentives we are seeing for medical student graduates to enter general practice, alongside the broader inequities in access to leave entitlements when registrars transition from hospital education to training in GP clinics,” said Ms Davis.
“Ultimately, this is one step in the right direction to address the predicted shortfall of around 11,000 GPs by 2032. With the current pressure on our public hospitals, it’s abundantly clear that we do need to invest in primary care and we need to demonstrate to current and future doctors that they are valued and supported in general practice,” said Ms Davis.
The announcement also includes the state government proposing to cover the costs of their first-year exams, with $10,000 available per trainee. This comes alongside additional announcements such as a 12-month trial for pharmacists to be able to prescribe medications.
“It’s disappointing to see in the same announcement for investing in a sustainable primary care sector, that there is a trial which is likely to disrupt continuity of care and risks quality diagnosis that should be done by general practitioners in the community. General practitioners have access to comprehensive diagnostic and treatment services which are not available or appropriate in a pharmacy setting,” said Ms Davis.
AMSA is the peak representative body for Australia’s 17,000 medical students. The full General Practice Roundtable report can be accessed at:
Jasmine Davis, AMSA President
0428 167 911
Katya Gvozdenko, Public Relations Officer
0490 099 561
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