The Australian Medical Students’ Association (AMSA) is urging the Federal Government to put an immediate hold on the number of medical school places.
The number of medical students in Australia has more than doubled in the last decade and, this year,
approximately 450 medical graduates are likely to miss out on an internship, which they require to practise as
fully registered doctors in Australian communities.
AMSA President Mr James Churchill said that there must be no further increases in medical student numbers,
either at new or existing medical schools, until the Australian healthcare system can adequately accommodate
the students currently in the system.
“Medical education is facing many threats. Urgent and decisive action is needed to avert a crisis,” Mr Churchill
“Increasing numbers of medical students and abysmal levels of funding have the potential to seriously undermine
the quality of medical education,” he said.
It is estimated that there is a funding deficit of $23,000 per year for each Commonwealth-Supported medical
“Adequate teaching, supervision, assessment and infrastructure is required to maintain the high quality of
medical education that we expect in Australia,” Mr Churchill said.
“We need our future doctors to learn from real patients with real health problems; whiteboards and textbooks
are inadequate substitutes for quality patient interaction.
“This year hundreds of medical graduates will be left unable to work as doctors because the healthcare system
does not have sufficient capacity for them to continue their training.
“This situation is made even more ridiculous because Curtin University, Charles Sturt University and others are
pushing to open new medical schools that would bring yet more medical students into the system,” he said.
Today, at its National Convention, AMSA will hold a discussion focusing on the many critical issues facing medical
education and training. The panel will include representatives from Curtin University, The University of Western
Australia, the Australian Medical Association and AMSA.
The AMSA National Convention (Perth July 1-8) is hosting more than 1000 medical students from across the
country to discuss current health issues. For further information and media opportunities related to the AMSA
National Convention, please visit:
0435 052 570