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CHA applauds intern placements; awaits more announcements

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CONTACT: Gavin Abraham CHA Media Manager 02 6203 2703 / 0408 825788

CHA represents the largest single grouping of non-government health, aged and community care services in Australia.

November 9, 2012

CHA applauds intern placements; awaits more announcements

Catholic Health Australia has applauded Health Minister Tanya Plibersek’s announcement in Perth this morning that agreement has been reached between the Commonwealth and the Western Australia Government to provide funding for more than 30 medical internships in private hospitals to cater for a record number of medical graduates.

“There has been a great response from Catholic hospitals, both public and private, around our network that have been willing to help the country keep Australian-trained doctors here and making a long-lasting contribution to the health of the nation,” Catholic Health Australia CEO Martin Laverty said.

“With Minister Plibersek today standing alongside the Western Australian Health Minister Kim Hames and leaders of St John of God Health Care at their hospital at Subiaco and announcing that medical interns now have places to train in WA, there has been a collective round of applause that the ball is now rolling.

“There is no time to waste, though, as other states await agreements and dozens more medical graduates await certainty about their training future.”

Following this morning’s announcement, St John of God Health Care will find places for a number of those interns in its hospitals.

“Several other Catholic hospitals around the country have expressed a desire to help deliver a solution to this problem, and they are eagerly anticipating the next round of Commonwealth-state agreements that can allow more places to be made available,” Mr Laverty said.

Mr Laverty pointed out that some hospitals that have shown an interest in taking interns for next year are yet to be accredited to train medical graduates, so it is important that the remaining states and territories are able to reach agreement urgently to allow that process to take place.

“Some of our member hospitals are becoming increasingly concerned that their offers to help train interns might be hampered by the time that it takes to accredit their facilities, but we are confident that the Government will not allow bureaucracy and administration challenges to become an impediment to securing training places,” he said.

Mr Laverty said the role that non-government hospitals are playing in finding a solution to the internship shortage provides further evidence of how non-government hospitals make a difference in health care delivery around Australia.

“The non-government health sector has a great deal to offer and we feel we could make an even greater contribution if we were more regularly invited to participate in the work that goes on to plan the future of health care in this country,” Mr Laverty concluded.