Friday, 22 October 2010

Doctors do downers on doctors: the reason for the GP shortage in Australia

I have long believed , from observations at very close quarters, that the medical or illth system as we know it is devised - not for consumers - but for doctors, nurses, and high-ranking administrators and bureaucrats.  For matters of GP and specialist shortages, which so many of us experience whether we are country or urban folk, I blame the AMA and governments of all persuasions and periods.  And this is not as ridiculous as I am sure some vested interests would have consumers believe. And here it is laid out clear as a bell.
The AMA’s downer on general practice
According to Halton, the AMA previously contributed to a decline in doctors chosing to become GPs because of its emphasis on the low pay relative to other specialists. The hearing was told that in 2005 there were 668 applications to the general practice training program, compared with 1,100 applications for 2011.
Halton said: “I should tell you that my experience of this, which goes back to when I first was secretary, was there was a period of quite significant talking down of general practice as a vocation….There were reasons for that. The AMA had a particular view, some of which I think had substance, but the consequence in saying that general practice was under-remunerated and so on, and they turned a whole generation of graduates off the notion of doing general practice as their preferred specialty. I think that has significantly reversed itself as a position. I think now people understand that there is a huge opportunity and interest in the opportunity that is available in general practice, so that is what you are seeing in the numbers. We did have a bit of a fallow patch and there are reasons for that.”
Thanks to Melissa Sweet and Croakey.

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