Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for Regional Health Andrew Laming has supported calls from the Australian Medical Students’ Association (AMSA) for urgent action on an additional 235 internship places nationwide.
With just four months until the 2013 internship year begins, it is increasingly unlikely that internship places can be properly credentialed by the Confederation of Postgraduate Medical Education Councils in time for advertisement in December.
Mr Laming accused federal Labor of sleep-walking.
“Successive federal Governments have funded extra medical school places, but now claim that internships aren’t their department,” Dr Laming said.
Every young Australian-trained doctor deserves quality training in their first year of practice. This should be a priority for all governments and it isn’t a problem that will magically go away by Christmas.
Dr Laming concurred with AMSA President, Mr James Churchill who stated today that “a great deal of valuable teaching resources and public money is invested in each Australian-trained medical student and it would be a blatant waste of tax-payer dollars to see these medical graduates unable to work as doctors.
Dr Laming said there was little doubt that State governments had found as many additional internship positions as they could. But Federal Labor has failed to liaise with the private hospital sector and the Aboriginal Community controlled health sector to create the additional required positions.
“Rotating interns through private and indigenous health facilities for even a few weeks each would solve the internship shortage,” Dr Laming claimed.
Mr Laming urged the Health Minister to direct Health Workforce Australia to at a minimum, assist with the on-costs of the new internship positions for Australian-trained applicants.