AMSA Calls for Stronger Rural Health Strategy
The Australian Medical Students’ Association (AMSA) commends the Federal Government on their announcement of 100 additional places for the National Rural Generalist Program. However, greater initiative and central oversight under a Rural Health Minister is required to ensure these places, and other components of the Stronger Rural Health Strategy, aren’t wasted.
On Wednesday, the AMSA Rural Health Committee was represented at the Rural Doctors Association of Australia's Politician’s Lunch in Canberra, where 100 additional generalist places were announced in addition to discussion of the Stronger Rural Health Strategy.
AMSA President Daniel Zou, said that the announcement by the Federal Government at the Lunch is truly a step in the right direction.
“Rural communities need more doctors with a diverse range of skills and the Rural Generalist Pathway has the potential to allow future medical professionals to fill these shoes,” Daniel said.
“We really hope that the Federal Government continues to see rural health as a national priority by appointing a National Rural Health Minister to address the unique complexities associated with rural health and rural medical workforce.”
AMSA Rural Health Vice-Chair Jasmine Elliott echoes the praise for this initiative, while noting there is room to grow.
“The pathway to rural practice isn’t limited to medical school placement, or intern year, or vocational training - it’s an integrated journey and we need a strong advocate to ensure the puzzle pieces fit together,” Jasmine said.
“It is time for the Federal Government to make sure their dollars reach real changes in rural communities by appointing a member responsible to keep the strategy’s components accountable.”
AMSA is the peak representative body for Australia’s 17,000 medical students, approximately one-third of whom are from a rural background and three-quarters who hope to practice rurally.
Henness Wong, Public Relations Officer – 0415 918 110
Isabelle Nehme, Vice President External - 0448 090 297
Published: 17 Feb 2020