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Tuesday, 29 May 1973
Page: 2734

Mr McKenzie (Diamond Valley) - I ask the Minister for Health: What is the number of doctors in practice in Australia? What percentage of these doctors graduated in Australia and what percentage graduated in Asia or Africa? Has there been any change in these percentages? Are any restrictions placed on registration in Australia of Asian and African graduates? Is the number of doctors graduating in Australia sufficient to keep pace with community needs? If not, are there plans to increase training facilities and opportunities?

Dr Forbes - What about putting it on the notice paper

Mr N H Bowen (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - Another written one!

Mr SPEAKER -Order! It is possible that the Minister anticipated the question.

Dr EVERINGHAM (CAPRICORNIA, QUEENSLAND) (Minister for Health) - My Department has prepared some figures along these lines which I will let the honourable member have. I have not with me on this occasion any of the details sought. However, the general position is that there are differences in the attitudes of the States to the qualifications of doctors from different countries. I think that this is of concern to most of the State registration bodies, as well as to the Commonwealth Government. Unfortunately, attempts to achieve uniformity in the registration of. doctors from overseas have not been successful, mainly because one State has refused to take part in deliberations between the Commonwealth and (he States on achieving uniformity of registration. That State's attitude is that it is quite happy to have uniformity of registration as long as its standards are the ones that are adopted. The question of graduates from Asia is being considered by my Department, particularly from the point of view of shortages of doctors in Federal Territories. The Federal Government has been more liberal, in general, in allowing registrations recognised in other countries to be accepted in Australia with a view to overcoming shortages, particularly in the Northern Territory. We will continue our deliberations with the States with a view to achieving more uniformity and better recognition of the qualifications of migrants.

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