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Democrats and Government scrap sunset clause and abandon postgraduate doctors.

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Jenny Macklin - Democrats And Government Scrap Sunset Clause And Abandon Post Graduate Doctors Tuesday, 03 July 2001

Democrats And Government Scrap Sunset Clause And Abandon Post Graduate Doctors Jenny Macklin - Shadow Minister for Health

Media Statement - 29 June 2001

Shadow Health Minister, Ms Jenny Macklin, said she was disappointed that legislation to make current medical training arrangements permanent had gone through Parliament with the backing of the Australian Democrats.

"Young doctors are entitled to feel abandoned by the Democrats who should have stood up for their interests. Unfortunately Senator Meg Lees did a deal with the Government," Ms Macklin said.

"This means the current situation where young doctors are only being offered unsupervised GP training in remote rural areas will continue.

"Labor moved amendments to ensure all GP training had to be supervised and that young doctors could do 13-week periods called "community terms". These would be located in those urban and rural areas that have insufficient doctors. Community terms for GP training would offer the range of opportunities that students are looking for.

"Postgraduate medical training is a mess and the shortage of applications for vocational training highlight the lack of confidence in the Howard Government' s policies.

"Labor strongly supports getting properly trained doctors into rural areas on a long term basis. The Government's strategy of forcing students to do short-term placements a long way from home is becoming counterproductive.

"The young doctors have been consistently ignored by this Government who have treated them as cannon fodder to solve shortages by forcing them into unsupervised rural vacancies without the necessary support.

"Labor will make it a high priority after the next election to sit down and properly negotiate a satisfactory

set of training programs that addresses the concerns that have been raised," Ms Macklin said. Authorised by Geoff Walsh, 19 National Circuit, Barton ACT 2600.

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