The Australian Medical Association (AMA) has issued a warning that the nation could be faced with insufficiently trained doctors in the future due to a lack of clinical expertise.
Dr Mukesh Haikerwal, the AMA president has written to the federal MPs and senators insisting for a strategy be put in place that would help to deal with the increase in number of students. He stated that there would be a generation of doctors who will struggle to gain proper education and clinical skills if proper resources are not made available to support them in their training.
Dr Haikerwal in a statement, said, "While we have a 130 per cent increase in the number of medical school places, we do not have a corresponding increase in teaching and training capacity. We face a situation where our doctors of the future will hit a brick wall in their medical education, which will have catastrophic effects on the medical workforce, our hospitals and access to quality health care."
Dr Haikerwal said that resources and facilities for students, which include providing internships at hospitals with open beds and with the opportunity to treat patients, are not being met by the states and territories that are competing for the extra medical places.
Reports have indicated that currently there are 1,553 intern places and about 1,780 vocational training places available, and that by 2012, Australia would need around 3,200 intern positions. The AMA have further clarified that a recent survey of 561 West Australian medical students had found that 80% of them believed that an increase in student numbers has had a negative impact on the quality of their education.