Albanese Labor focussed on homegrown mid-term solutions to health workforce shortages
The Albanese Labor federal government says it is focussing on developing a 'homegrown' medical workforce for rural and regional Australia, according to the assistant minister for rural and regional health.
Central Coast based MP Emma McBride told FlowFM:
"... in order to have a Health workforce and that's doctors, that's nurses, that's allied health practitioners, they need to be homegrown. And that's why we're investing as a government in more doctors, in training and supporting those who are open to it and willing to work in rural and regional communities.
"Yes, international medical doctors have been part of the rural and regional workforce and we're very grateful for the contributions that they've made. But in terms of a lot longer term solution for a sustainable workforce, health workforce for Australians, we need to be training up local doctors, local nurses, local healthcare practitioners, so we can have the right health care practitioner in the right place at the right time."
When asked about the decision to add outer suburban areas into the distribution priority areas (DPAs) for overseas doctors brought into the country, the assistant minister said:
"Australian medical graduates are mostly going into specialties other than general practice and when they are working in general practice, they're working in big cities. This is something that we need to turn around so that wherever you live you can get that care close to home. And this is a problem that starts in the outer suburbs and continues across regional and remote and rural Australia."
Hear the full interview on the FlowNews24 podcast player below: