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03 Apr 2019

The $62 million allocation in the Federal Budget for the rural generalist pathway is an important step forward to fill the gaps in Australia’s healthcare system and address the bottleneck in vocational training pathways for Australia’s junior doctors.

Australian Medical Students’ Association (AMSA) President, Jessica Yang, attended the Department of Health Budget Briefing and welcomes the new national approach to rural doctor shortages.

“We have tried the same model for years, which is to train medical students in rural areas, and incentivise already-trained doctors to practice in rural areas. What has been missing is the link between these initiatives to complete the training pathway in rural Australia,” Ms Yang said.

“Enabling all stages of training to occur in regional and rural Australia is how we will retain health professionals in areas of need.

“A national training program for rural generalist doctors is a big step in the right direction to address the doctor shortage in rural areas. Without the proposed funding, this program could not go ahead.

“I believe we will see real improvements in addressing Australia’s areas of health need in the coming years with the rural generalist pathway.”

AMSA Rural Health Chair, Jacoba Van Wees, agreed, saying: “Concrete funding for the national rural generalist pathway will enable students who are passionate about rural health to pursue this as a career without fear of having to leave that calling due to job security.”

AMSA is the peak representative body for Australia’s 17,000 medical students, many of whom wish to pursue a career in rural medicine.

Published: 03 Apr 2019