Federal Member for Parkes, Mark Coulton, has welcomed the announcement the Specialist Training Programme and the Emergency Medicine Programme would have their funding extended for 2016.
Mr Coulton said the Abbott Government would contribute over $150 million to the two programmes that have proven records in the successful training of the next generation of medical professionals.
“Many local community members will benefit from the two programmes which are essential in Australians continuing to have access to a world-class health care system,” Mr Coulton said.
“The Abbott Government is committed to continuing to support the development of a specialist workforce to meet Australia’s future health needs.”
The number of Specialist Training Programme posts had increased from 360 in 2010 to 900 in 2014. The programme allows the trainees to rotate through a number of settings including rural, remote and private facilities to ensure a diversity of experiences and to maximise professional development.
The $139 million investment for 2016 in the Specialist Training Programme, will benefit trainees from a range of specialties including psychiatry, general surgery, pathology, radiology, dermatology, obstetrics and gynaecology.
Mr Coulton said the $18 million investment in the Emergency Medicine Programme will assist to improve the level of care Australians receive when they present in an emergency situation.
“This training not only develops emergency physicians, but importantly also provides emergency medicine training for those doctors who may need to respond in an emergency situation, in particular those in country areas,” Mr Coulton said.
“We know how important those first moments are in a medical emergency and this programme builds on the high quality of that care.”
In addition to the funding security for these two training programmes, a consultation process would begin with colleges and other stakeholders about reforms to take place in 2017.
This consultation will focus on in depth workforce planning to better match investments in training with identified specialties of potential shortage and areas that may be oversubscribed into the future.