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AMA calls on COAG to urgently develop a national medical workforce strategy

AMA Medical Workforce and Training Summit was held at the Australian Medical Association (“AMA”) Victoria in Melbourne on 3 March 2018 ("Summit").  More than 80 key stakeholders took part in the Summit to discuss key medical workforce challenges and how to better meet community need.

A number of key outcomes were identified from the report of the Summit ("Report"), including:

  • Strong agreement that current workforce data does not support the establishment of any new medical school places, and for the Commonwealth to ensure that medical student numbers continue to be regulated to match community need.
  • Strong support for greater collaboration between Commonwealth and State/Territory Governments in planning workforce, training, and future care delivery models to meet community need.
  • Broad support for the development of alternative hospital employment models to better align service delivery and workforce requirements with training requirements and community need.
  • Support to explore the provision of longer-term employment contracts to create security of employment for all trainees, and, in particular, for trainees in rural and regional areas as an incentive to live, work, and train in those areas.
  • Strong support for the Council of Australian Governments ("COAG") to take greater responsibility to align government policy and medical workforce planning with the long-term health needs of communities, and for this to form part of the next National Health Reform Agreement.

Based on the key recommendations from the Report, AMA has called on COAG to urgently develop a National Medical Workforce Strategy to address significant workforce challenges and implement long-term work force planning to better meet Australia's health care needs.  It has been 14 years since the last national health workforce strategy was released.

Read the full Medical Workforce & Training Summit Report here.