High num­ber of over­seas doc­tors in the re­gion

Pilbara News - - News - Tom Zaun­mayr

Nearly three-quar­ters of gen­eral prac­ti­tion­ers work­ing in the Pil­bara have come from over­seas, ac­cord­ing to data pro­vided by Ru­ral Health West.

Of the 60 GPs work­ing in the Pil­bara, 42 are in­ter­na­tional med­i­cal grad­u­ates, high­light­ing the lack of West Aus­tralians will­ing to work in re­gional WA.

In De­cem­ber, Ru­ral Health Assistant Min­is­ter David Gille­spie an­nounced a stock­take of the num­ber and lo­ca­tion of place­ments to de­ter­mine ways to ad­dress the short­age of prac­ti­tion­ers in coun­try ar­eas.

Ru­ral Health West chief ex­ec­u­tive Tim Shackleton said while in­ter­na­tional GPs were val­ued, it demon­strated in­creased train­ing place­ments had not trans­lated to more grad­u­ates head­ing to the bush.

“The sig­nif­i­cant in­crease in med­i­cal un­der­grad­u­ate places since 2001 slightly in­creased the num­ber of Aus­traliantrained doc­tors work­ing in ru­ral West­ern Aus­tralia, how­ever we are still very re­liant on in­ter­na­tional med­i­cal grad­u­ates,” he said. The de­part­ments of health and ed­u­ca­tion and train­ing will jointly as­sess the num­ber and dis­tri­bu­tion of med­i­cal school places and med­i­cal schools in Aus­tralia.

It is ex­pected the as­sess­ment will be con­cluded by April.

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