A record-breaking 177 new medical interns started work in Western Australian public hospitals today.
Health Minister Jim McGinty said there had been a significant increase in the number of people studying medicine in WA and the new doctors would help reduce staff shortages at hospitals and health services.
“There are 22 more medical interns starting work in 2008 than in 2007 and 40 more than in 2005,” Mr McGinty said.
“Considering the current world-wide shortage of doctors, that is extremely good news for WA.
“And the number of new graduates will continue to grow. Thanks to increases in the number of medical places offered at The University of Western Australia over recent years and the new course at The University of Notre Dame, we anticipate medical graduate numbers will increase from 125 in 2006 to an expected 279 in 2009 and 300 graduates in 2010.
“That means that, in just four years, we will have more than doubled the number of highly trained professionals ready to start work each year in our hospitals.
“Today, 65 interns started work at Royal Perth Hospital, while 60 more will be based at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital and 52 at Fremantle Hospital.
“Each new doctor is a very valuable staff member and we are lucky to have so many highly trained professionals ready to provide Western Australians with quality health care.
“WA Health will do all it can to support these new doctors as they start out in the hospital system and provide them with excellent opportunities to develop their careers.
“I welcome each and every one of them and hope they will enjoy their time working for WA Health.”
More than 2,800 doctors (full-time equivalent) now work in the State’s public health system, about 900 more than in February 2001.
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