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AMA calls for urgent action on intern places

13 Jun 2013

AMA Vice President, Professor Geoffrey Dobb, said today that Health Ministers must urgently reach agreement and start acting to provide sufficient intern places in 2014 for this year’s medical graduates.

The COAG Standing Council on Health (SCOH) is meeting in Sydney tomorrow.

Professor Dobb said that the Communiqué from the last SCOH meeting in November 2012 indicated agreement on action to create sufficient intern places, but there has been no evidence of progress on the issue.

“The Health Ministers last year agreed to address the current problems in providing and coordinating sufficient numbers of intern places for the growing number of graduates from Australian medical schools, but we are yet to see results,” Professor Dobb said.

“The AMA welcomes the Federal Government’s unique identifier for graduating medical students to better track intern applications and the offer of places, but more needs to be done, and soon.

“We need a concrete plan and the commitment of resources to ensure that this year's graduating medical students will be able to access essential intern training in 2014.

“We anticipate that around 3500 medical students will graduate at the end of 2013, which represents a potential shortfall of 200 intern places in 2014 as things currently stand.

“Health Workforce Australia modelling shows that we need to find sufficient postgraduate training places for all our medical graduates, not just at the intern level, but also for the years beyond, including specialist training.

“Last year saw a last minute deal between the Commonwealth and some State and Territory Governments to fund extra intern places, but the deal came too late and not all of these places were taken up.

“Applications for intern places in 2014 have already opened and medical graduates need to be able to plan now.

“We need to see agreement and action come out of tomorrow’s meeting to provide medical graduates with some confidence and certainty about their ongoing training and future medical careers,” Professor Dobb said.

13 June 2013

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                            Kirsty Waterford                  02 6270 5464 / 0427 209 753

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Published: 13 Jun 2013