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News, Management

240 medical graduates will not be offered a state or territory position

16/10/2014
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The Australian Medical Students' Association has obtained figures showing that 240 medical graduates will not be able to become practitioners in the Australian community.

The National Medical Intern Data Management Working Group has completed an audit of offers, and concluded that approximately 240 Australian graduates will not be offered a state or territory position.

AMSA president, Ms Jessica Dean, said that AMSA is "very disappointed" that such a large number of graduates from Australian medical schools will be unable to practise in Australia.

"As regions of Australia continue to suffer from doctor shortages, it is nonsensical to be wasting another cohort of medical graduates," Ms Dean said.

"Completing an internship is an essential process for a graduate to work as a doctor in Australia. If the federal government is serious about correcting the ongoing doctor shortage, it makes sense to completely utilise the graduating Australian workforce.

"Those students have spent up to six years immersed in Australian culture, learning our diseases, and training in our healthcare system. They are perfectly suited to serve Australia. They just need to be given a chance."

The shortfall is yet to be finalised. The Commonwealth Medical Initiative is yet to offer positions for the 2015 intake. That program was developed for international-born Australian graduates to complete an internship in Australia. While the initiative promised 'up to 100' places, AMSA was disappointed that only 76 were offered last year.

"The CMI initiative is a welcome addition to the medical training landscape. However, the addition of 76 places may still leave over 160 medical graduates who will be forced to take their skills overseas," Ms Dean said.

"Last year, the CMI initiative was oversubscribed with 183 applicants for 76 positions. Those graduates not only want to work in Australia, they are even happy to relocate to work in areas of need, especially rural and regional Australia. Isn't that the answer we are looking for?"By failing to facilitate training opportunities, Australia is allowing itself to become a victim of brain drain.

"Refusing to train local graduates and then filling the deficit with overseas-trained doctors is remarkably myopic.

"AMSA is calling on the federal government to invest in the future of health care and provide Australia with the health care system it needs," Ms Dean said.

AFT Pharmaceuticals
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