Regional areas in Queensland and Western Australia are expected to benefit from an influx of Australian-trained international medical graduates due to a new Commonwealth Medical Internship Scheme.
Federal Health Minister Peter Dutton announced the scheme on February 20, explaining how the federal government will provide $40 million over the next four years to encourage Australian-trained international graduates to complete their internships in private hospitals and in regional areas.
A number of these graduates have already found placements, with 61 interns working in Queensland and 15 in Western Australia during 2014. They are currently based in Townsville, Mackay, Bundaberg, Brisbane and Perth.
The individuals are also expected to receive training in medical facilities at Kingaroy, Noosa, Hervey Bay and Mt Isa in Queensland, Joondalup and Mandurah in Western Australia and Tweed Heads in New South Wales.
"These interns will work and train outside major cities, providing a much-needed boost to the medical workforce in regional areas," Mr Dutton said.
The scheme is expected to create 100 medical internship opportunities in the private sector each year, with a vast number of these training positions to benefit rural and remote area hospitals.
"This investment will further support Australia's medical workforce and with the shortage of doctors at critical levels in many areas across the country, it's important to provide these opportunities outside metropolitan centres," Mr Dutton explained.
"This government is committed to delivering innovative solutions to strengthen the health workforce and to ensure Australians can receive the healthcare they need closer to home," Mr Dutton said.
If you believe you may require medical treatment in a rural area of Australia, you may wish to consider Australian health insurance to ensure you can access services within a private facility.
For more information on private health insurance in your area, contact HICA today. HICA is a specialist health insurance brokering service that can help you compare health insurance policies and providers to ensure you find the right private health cover for your needs.