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Minister welcomes Western Australian funding for intern training



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THE HON TANYA PLIBERSEK MP

Minister for Health

MEDIA RELEASE

9 November 2012

Minister Welcomes Western Australian Funding for Intern Training

Federal Health Minister Tanya Plibersek today welcomed the Western Australian Government’s decision to fund additional medical internship training in the state’s public and private hospitals.

“WA has agreed to fund an additional eight internships in 2013. In return, the Australian Government will fund at least 32 additional intern places in the state's private hospitals in 2013, and 40 additional GP registrar training positions in WA over the next two years,” said Ms Plibersek.

“These places will reduce the doctor shortage in WA, particularly in general practice, and will also ensure that more Australian-trained doctors remain in our health workforce.”

St John of God Hospital, Hollywood Private Hospital and Joondalup Private Hospital will place Commonwealth-funded interns in 2013.

“I congratulate Minister Hames for his foresight in tackling the projected shortage of medical internships in our hospitals next year,” said Ms Plibersek.

“This is a terrific outcome for the WA health system.”

Internships require mandatory hospital rotations, including through emergency departments. The state-owned public hospitals run most emergency departments, so this is where intern training has traditionally occurred.

Ms Plibersek said the Australian Government remains willing to invest in additional intern training in private hospitals nation-wide.

“We have a situation where up to 180 medical graduates may not be able to

complete their training next year because of the refusal of some state governments to find a relatively small number of additional internship positions.

“The Australian Government has offered a shared solution and will fund up to 100 internships across the country - but this is conditional on states and territories providing additional funding as well.

“In addition to WA, Queensland and the ACT have agreed to fund additional places for medical interns and our offer to other states stands.

“We need to resolve this quickly so we can put these brilliant young graduates to work in our health system - a system that continues to need new doctors.”