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Deans welcome workforce report

By | Monday, April 30th, 2012
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Medical Deans Australia and New Zealand (Medical Deans) has welcomed Health Workforce Australia’s Health Workforce 2025 report (Volume 1), released on Friday by the Australian Health Ministers.

‘This is an important first step forward in establishing in one document a baseline for medical workforce planning and training into the future. We are in strong agreement with the general direction of the report and the issues it has identified for the next decade-plus,’ said the President of Medical Deans, Professor Justin Beilby.

‘Importantly it recognises Australia is now training enough medical students, and that we now need to urgently expand the number of training places for doctors after they have graduated, in a range of areas. This is clearly the major priority now’.

Professor Beilby said a significant increase in graduates in the next two years also offered an opportunity to tackle another aspect highlighted in the report, the mal-distribution of doctors across Australia.

‘We have long known there is a shortage of doctors in some parts of the country, especially in remote and rural areas,’ Professor Beilby said.

‘The new wave of students coming through in the offers an opportunity to influence where those new graduates works,  with the aim of increasing doctor numbers in rural and remote settings.’

Professor Beilby said that since 2005, Medical Deans has been following medical students across Australia to see how their careers developed and where they chose to practise medicine.

‘This ongoing study (the Medical Schools Outcomes Database and Longitudinal Tracking Project)now covers more than 20,000 students and doctors, and has been a key data source for HWA during the development of the National Training Plan.’

‘This study is continuing to follow doctors as they progress in their careers, and is proving a rich source of data to inform medical education and workforce planning.’

Professor Beilby said all Australian-trained medical students, including those from overseas who paid their own fees,  offered the most ethical and effective way of ensuring Australia was self-sufficient in doctors by 2025.

Medical Deans is made up of the Deans of Australia’s 18 university medical schools and the two New Zealand schools.

More information, Justin Beilby: (08) 8303 5193

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