The Australian Medical Students’ Association (AMSA) is calling for an end to the political standoff that threatens to send Australian-trained doctors overseas.
AMSA President Mr James Churchill said it was disappointing that last week’s goodwill from the Commonwealth Government to provide $10M to address the internship shortfall had not been matched by commitments from the States.
“It is appalling that the states have simply turned their backs on Australia’s future doctors by not agreeing to fund the internship positions required,” Mr Churchill said.
“Communities are desperate for Australian-trained doctors, but without internships these graduates will be forced overseas or to pursue careers outside the healthcare system.
“The Commonwealth Government has committed funding for 100 of the 182 extra internships required, and it is time that States came to the table and paid their fair share.
“This issue is not about political point scoring, it is about investing now in the future of Australia’s health system.
“We are not talking about a large amount of money – about $8M split among the States. It is a small price to pay to keep Australian-trained doctors in our health system and serving our communities.
“A funding agreement needs to be reached immediately to allow time for accreditation of these positions before new doctors are due to start treating patients in January 2013.
“We don’t have time for the State and Federal Governments to continue to quibble, we need an agreement now,” Mr Churchill said.
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