AMA (NSW): More rural-based medical trainees good for rural and regional communities
- On March 17, 2015
AMA (NSW) President, Dr Saxon Smith, says the new rural-based medical training positions announced by the Coalition are welcome news.
“Patients in rural and regional areas have suffered for too long with less access to medical services.
“As a result, rural and regional patients often face higher barriers to getting the care they need – including travel time and cost.
“NSW has an important opportunity to improve health outcomes for rural and regional communities by implementing strategies to increase the medical workforce outside big cities,” Dr Smith said.
“The Coalition’s plan to base 60 new training spots in rural areas is especially good news in this regard.
“Giving medical trainees the option of training in rural and regional areas is one of the best ways of increasing doctor numbers outside of large cities,” Dr Smith said.
“When you can give junior doctors good training experiences in a particular place, it makes them more likely to want to build their careers there.
“The current training system is very Sydney-centric because there are more and larger hospitals with more senior doctors here.
“Even doctors-in-training who are based in rural areas will need to spend some time in the city’s hospitals.
“They are not the be all and end all of medical training in NSW, however, and basing more training elsewhere is a very good idea.
“More flexible training options like this will help work towards solving medical workforce problems experienced outside of major cities,” Dr Smith said.
“Setting up medical training positions based in rural and regional areas was one of the AMA (NSW) priorities for health for the 2015 State Election.
“I am very happy the Coalition has taken on board what AMA (NSW) had to say.
“Given time, this will help solve the doctor shortage being experienced in country NSW,” Dr Smith said.
Media contact: Lachlan Jones (02) 9902 8113 / 0419 402 955