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Transcript 17133

Prime Minister Minister for Health Training record numbers of GPs 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: 17133

The Rudd Government will invest $339 million to increase GP training places to record levels to deliver better health and better hospitals for all Australians.

Due to historic lack of investment, we inherited a situation where workforce shortages are impacting upon 59 per cent of all Australians.

In addition, while the number of medical students graduating from our universities will double over the next five years, there has not been a sufficient increase in GP training places to enable more graduating medical students to become General Practitioners.

The Government will raise the number of places available for medical graduates to train to become a General Practitioner to 1,200 per year by 2014.

This historic investment will:

* double the annual limit of 600 places in place when the Government took office.

* provide a 50 per cent increase on the Government's previous commitment to increase places to 812 per year from 2011.

* deliver around 5 million extra services by 2013, when combined with other investments undertaken since the Government took office.

To maintain current levels of GP and primary care services alone, it is estimated that an additional 3,000 GPs will be needed by 2020.

Australia also needs to reduce its high hospitalisation rates, which is currently double that of Canada and significantly higher than the United States, the UK and New Zealand.

This demands more GPs, not only to meet projected shortfalls, but to improve access and availability of GP services and help take pressure off the hospitals system.

The additional GP training places will commence from 2011 and combined with our existing investments will ensure that there are an additional 1,375 GPs practising or in training by 2013.

Over time, these investments will result in a total of 5,500 extra GPs practicing or in training by 2020.

This major investment will build on the Commonwealth's commitment to taking full funding and policy responsibility for all GP services and primary care as part of the National Health and Hospitals Network.

It will ensure that Commonwealth funded GP services have the workforce needed to properly treat Australians through less expensive primary care services rather than shunting them into expensive hospital services.

This investment is part of our major focus on primary care.

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 17133