More medical students will not equal more GPs: AMA (WA)

More medical students will not equal more GPs: AMA (WA)


Wednesday 12 February 2014

thumbnail

The number of general practitioners in Western Australia will NOT be boosted by an increase in the number of medical students, the Australian Medical Association (WA) said today.

 

Criticising a recently released “independent” report into medical education in the State, AMA (WA) President Dr Richard Choong said only an increase in GP training positions would provide additional doctors.

 

“Let’s be clear – a report commissioned and paid for by Curtin University is not independent. Rather it is a continuation of a strong desire by Curtin University to have a medical school without considering the implications of such a decision,” Dr Choong said.

 

“Using this so-called independent report to support an argument that there is a need for more medical students in WA is a poor excuse for a detailed examination into this important issue.

 

“Issues surrounding the supply and distribution of GPs in WA are not as simple as Curtin University might wish us to believe. The supply of GPs will not be solved by merely adding more medical graduates to the mix,” Dr Choong said.

 

New medical graduates have to be trained as GPs, a process which can take many years.

 

“We would urge Federal and state governments to fund additional GP training places,” Dr Choong said.

 

The AMA (WA) is currently in discussions with WAGPET – the organisation that organises GP training – to see how Federal and state governments can boost the number of training places.

 

“This is the only step that will provide more GPs.”

 

Thanks to efforts by a number of individuals and groups – including the AMA – WA’s two medical schools (Notre Dame University and the University of WA) will see a large increase in the number of graduates over the new few years.

 

“We are not short of doctors. We are short of GPs, and their distribution into remote and regional areas needs to be improved.

 

“Establishing an additional medical school will not fix the GP shortage.

 

“There is no evidence whatsoever that a new medical school would ‘solve’ the issue of the supply of doctors – especially GPs,” Dr Choong said.

 

Dr Choong also questioned some of the data used in the “independent” report, especially in light of WA’s slowing economy and continued fall-off in population growth.

Have Your Say

Should Australia follow Britain's decision to implement a tax on sugary drinks?




View Results

Loading ... Loading ...
Why I Joined the AMA (WA)...
"I joined the AMA for all the advocacy work that is done. It is great to be part of an organisation that supports and assists doctors in training in many aspects of their work."
Dr Sarah Strathie Page
Dr Sarah Strathie Page
Blog
Let’s make our hospitals healthy again
Dr David Oldham
Wednesday, 26th April 2017

Several years ago, the Department of Health adapted a motto that included “Healthy Hospitals, Healthy Staff”.   A few reconfigurations later, and some say they have never seen our hospitals or staff, looking sicker. So, what are the main factors …