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Medical Students call for Action on Mental Health and Workforce Training

06 Feb 2020

AMSA 2020-21 Pre-Budget Submission


The Australian Medical Students' Association (AMSA) is calling on the Federal Government to act on seven health and education priorities, including improving medical student mental health and strengthening medical training to meet future community need.


In its 2020-2021 Pre-Budget Submission, released today, AMSA has highlighted seven priority areas for Government action and funding. The seven priorities are:


  • Improving Medical Student Mental Health.

  • Aligning Medical Education with Workforce Demand.

  • Fortifying our Rural and Regional Workforce.

  • Supporting our International Students.

  • Securing our Future Medical Workforce.

  • Acting on the Relationship between Climate Change and Health.

  • Increasing Support for our Future Indigenous Health Workforce.


AMSA President, Daniel Zou, said that the landscape of medical student mental health has been increasingly supported by research evidence. 


“AMSA wants the Government to address not only the symptoms, but also the spectrum of causes of stress among medical students and junior doctors,” Daniel said.


“An additional $815,000 funding will enable online training of Mental Health First Aid to equip all Australian medical students across the country with advanced knowledge of common mental health disorders and ‘red flags’ to be aware of in themselves and their peers, which will facilitate early intervention and more positive outcomes.


“Medical students face unique challenges in prolonged clinical placement, such as long hours and the residual culture of bullying, and those who are off-campus in rural and regional locations are particularly vulnerable because of the raised barrier of access to support services, be it from university or mental health organisations.


“Expansion of university health services to provide off-campus support to rural and regional clinical school students will strengthen protection of their mental health.


“A commitment to continue funding the Junior Doctors Training Pathway for 115 spots beyond 2020 will ensure that Australian resources spent towards medical education for international medical students are not wasted.


“It will ensure that these students trained in Australia will remain in Australia as practising physicians, simultaneously ensuring we meet projected workforce demand.


“Federal funding should directly provide rural vocational training to retain the rural workforce. Continuation of the Integrated Rural Training Pipeline under the Specialist Training Program will develop the rural medical pipeline, which will ultimately improve the health outcomes of Australians living in those areas.”


The AMSA 2020-21 Pre-Budget Submission is available via this link


Media Contact: 

Henness Wong, Public Relations Officer – 0415 918 110



Isabelle Nehme, Vice President External - 0448 090 297




Published: 06 Feb 2020