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Transcript 17132

Prime Minister Minister for Health Training record numbers of specialist doctors 15 March 2010

Photo of Rudd, Kevin

Rudd, Kevin

Period of Service: 03/12/2007 to 24/06/2010

More information about Rudd, Kevin on The National Archive website.

Release Date: 15/03/2010

Release Type: Media Release

Transcript ID: 17132

The Rudd Government will invest $145 million to train more specialist doctors where the community needs them, to deliver better health and better hospitals for all Australians.

The Government inherited a situation where estimates from the Australian Medical Workforce Advisory Committee and the Medical Colleges suggest there will be a shortage of around 1,280 specialists by 2020.

The Government's investments will mean that this shortfall will be met.

These investments will:

* more than double the current number places from 360 to 900 by 2014, when combined with existing Rudd Government investments; and

* deliver an additional 680 specialists into the health system by 2020.

The remainder of the projected shortfall will continue to be delivered through the public hospitals system.

Traditionally, medical specialist training has been provided in public hospitals. The private sector has not provided a significant portion of the training of future health professionals.

The overwhelming majority of specialist training is delivered in public settings, but we know that medical practice occurs in a much wider range of settings.

With a significant amount of health service delivery now occurring in the private sector, the Government will draw on the private sector to expand overall capacity for specialist training.

This major investment will be targeted at key specialisations and areas of need.

The increase in Specialty Places delivered through this investment will enhance existing specialist training which must continue.

Training targets will be developed in consultation with the medical colleges and States and Territories to ensure that the additional specialists are being trained in specialties where workforce and training capacity shortages are the greatest.

Specialties where shortages currently exist will be targeted.

These include general surgery, pathology, radiology, obstetrics and gynaecology and dermatology.

The Government will also seek the advice of Health Workforce Australia in accurately planning for future specialist workforce needs.

Priority will be given to providing training places in the communities where Australians need them, such as in rural and regional areas.

Supporting training in the private sector will build on the Government's commitment to permanently fund 60 per cent of the costs of training undertaken in public hospitals - making the Commonwealth Government the majority funder of training future doctors.

This critical investment will be included and offset across the forward estimates in the 2010-11 Budget, consistent with the Government's strict fiscal strategy.

Transcript 17132