The Australian Medical Association (AMA) has cautioned the Federal Government about the impending shortage of general practitioners.
AMA president, Dr Mukesh Haikerwal said that almost 30 per cent of the country's GPs are 55 years or older, and a good many of them are due for retirement over the next few years.
Dr Haikerwal pointed out that the Government must strive to extend the stay of the GPs in the work force and also to make sure that there is enough young blood in the system.
Tony Abbott, Federal Health Minister, says that the Government is responding to the existing problem by announcing extra 605 medical places, at last week's meeting of the Council of Australian Governments.
"That should mean that by 2011, we are training almost double the number of medical graduates every year than is currently the case. There are no easy or simple answers to this, but certainly it is important to train more doctors and that's what we're doing." he reassured.