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    To work independently as a doctor in Australia, medical graduates need to get postgraduate qualifications in the field they plan to work in (whether they plan to work in general practice or neurosurgery). The funding for postgraduate training positions is controlled by government. Unless there is adequate funding provided to increase the numbers of postgraduate training positions, the only result of all these medical graduates is a large number of doctors with basic qualifications who are unable to work independently and only able to work in supervised roles within hospitals. Considering the fact that most of the hospitlas large enoughto employ their own resident medical staff are either in cities of larger regional centres, it is hard to see how increasing the numbers of medical graduates is likely to improve the distribution of doctors within Australia, without an equivalent increase in postgraduate vocational training.

    If Australia wants more general practitioners, it needs to increase the number of general practice training positions. If it wants more specialist of a certain ilk, then it can increase the training positions for thos specific specialties.

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    Ian Haywood

    It’s important to remember Australia’s medical schools have had inadequate intake for many years, much to the pleasure of the Feds as this kept Medicare costs down.
    The State hospital system survived by importing large numbers of overseas doctors, mostly from the subcontinent. Basically, this is the taxpayers of India and Sri Lanka cross-subsidising Australia’s medical education costs, this became morally and politically unsustainable and Howard had little choice but to finally bring medical training numbers in line with the last 20 years of population growth.
    It won’t have much effect on the total number of doctors as the Australian grads will barely replace recruiting of OTDs, plus the mass retirements as the boomer doctors start hitting 65.


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