Stop the Blame Game says AMA (WA)

Stop the Blame Game says AMA (WA)

Friday 9 November 2012

It is vital that all state governments work together with a national single-mindedness to ensure that there are enough intern places across Australia to cope with future training needs and patient demands the Australian Medical Association (WA) said today.


Reacting to the news of the Federal Government’s agreement with the Western Australian and Australian Capital Territory Governments to fund a total of 55 additional intern places in 2013 in both the public and private hospital sectors, AMA (WA) President Dr Richard Choong said the move was a very positive one.


The current Federal Government had promised to end the blame game in health, a development that would be very welcome but had not yet been seen, Dr Choong said.


“We now have the chance for governments at all levels to work together in order to reach an agreement that will guarantee much-needed medical services in local communities across the country,” Dr Choong said.


Dr Choong congratulated WA Health Minister Kim Hames for taking the lead in the provision of internships and called on other states to match WA’s move but to also work with each other and the Federal Government to ensure that medical graduates had a clear career path.


“This morning’s announcement is promising, but we encourage Health Ministers to reach a deal to provide the remaining intern places that are needed so that all of these medical graduates have an opportunity to complete their training.


“The AMA (WA) also congratulates those States and Territories that have recognised the need to keep these medical graduates in Australia as part of a strategy to address medical workforce shortages and reduce our long-term reliance on international medical graduates.


“It is important to recognise that the bigger medical workforce issue is much broader and is not just about intern training.


“We are now also seeing general shortages of pre-vocational training positions emerging,” he said.


“Health Workforce Australia has predicted a shortage of 450 first year specialist training places in 2016.


Dr Choong also congratulated the Health Minister, Tanya Plibersek, and Health Ministers from Queensland and the Northern Territory for joining WA and the ACT for reaching agreement to fund medical intern places in public and private hospitals.


This brings the total number of additional funded intern places for 2013 to 116 – 84 from the Commonwealth and 32 from the participating States and Territories.

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