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16 Mar 2017

The Australian Medical Students’ Association (AMSA) calls on the new Western Australian government to increase medical student internships and specialist training opportunities in areas of workforce shortage.

AMSA, the peak representative for Australia’s 17,000 medical students, acknowledges the challenges Mark McGowan’s incoming Government faces in securing a sustainable health workforce for the State’s future.

AMSA President, Rob Thomas, said: “Ensuring the availability of quality internship places must be a priority for the McGowan Government.

 “For the first time ever, medical graduates in Western Australia last year missed out on an internship, preventing them from finalising their qualification as a doctor.

“In a State that currently relies on international doctors to service its huge land mass, this is simply not good enough.

 

“With the opening of Curtin Medical School to place further pressure on the training pipeline, the Government has a responsibility to ensure there are enough training opportunities for graduating doctors.

 “Western Australia no longer suffers from a shortage of medical students. Numbers have risen from 1,660 in 2000 to 3,484 in 2014. Instead, it suffers from a shortage of internships and postgraduate training places.

“As a State with huge geographical barriers to adequate healthcare access, the Government must now ensure enough of both internships and postgraduate training opportunities in rural and remote locations if it is serious about addressing the shortage of doctors in these areas.

“In their policy platform, WA Labor stated their support for an increase in the number of medical student internships and specialist training positions in areas of workforce shortage.  Now they hold Government, AMSA looks forward to seeing this support materialise, and urges Premier McGowan to prevent a repeat of 2016 by ensuring that the number of available internships in 2017 meets the number of graduating medical students.”

 

Media Contact: Isabella Gosper

Email: pro@amsa.org.au

Phone: 0416 816 830

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Published: 16 Mar 2017