Thursday, November 5, 2009
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
Thursday, October 30, 2008
“How can you call someone a foreign doctor when they are an Australian doctor with an Australian degree, and they were classed as a local student from day one?”
Good Question, Dr .Belich.
Mike Belich was born in New Zealand, but has lived in Australia since the age of 14. He graduated from the Medical School of the University of NSW in 1999, and is currently working in Byron Bay where he is completing his RACGP training. When he passes his Fellowship exam however, as he is classed as "a former overseas student" (although he was considered a "local student" when he enrolled) he is subject to the same regulations as International Medical Graduates - in other words must work for ten years in a District of Workforces Shortage before he will be eligible for an unrestricted provider number.
There are apparently about a hundred doctors in the same situation as Dr. Belich.
Dr Belich's story was in the The Australian on Wednesday October 29 (first edition), and a link will be made to this just as soon as it is available.
A spokesperson for Health Minister Nicola Roxon said that she (Ms Roxon) he is "aware of the situation and is currently looking into what can be done."
Representatives of The Need More GPs group specifically mentioned Dr Belich's case to Nicola Roxon when they met with her in September (see post below) to discuss GP workforce shortage issues.
Saturday, September 13, 2008
Nicola Roxon knows the horse is sick
She knows the cart needs repairs
However she is focused on building the barn.Do we need to say that we fear that the GP section of the barn will be empty, unless some urgent interim action is taken?
Flying Doctors in
On this fifth continent, the scarcity of country doctors necessitates the Royal Flying Doctors to take over. But the RDFS are now facing great shortages in manpower.
They land with their propeller driven aircraft among grazing kangaroos. They fly into Aboriginal camps to pull teeth, and they save stranded tourists who have accidents with their camper-van. They are the physicians of the Royal Flying Doctor Service (RDFS). They are the most prestigious relief organisation in
The new generation of the medical profession are missing in taking up the challenge of servicing the inland, leaving the present staff stretched to the limits of their capacity. They must cover ever larger areas with less and less personnel. The crisis has become so acute that the flying doctors can only maintain this enterprise with the assistance of foreign help. “The demand for our services becomes ever greater” said Roger Petheram, the manager of the regional RFDS based in Dubbo, – a town in the interior of the
From here, several times a week, rescue teams are deployed into the Outback. To meet further emergencies, a second airplane and an additional surgeon is needed to ensure a smooth service. But the response has been sluggish. “We have been looking for a qualified physician since the middle of July – so far the interest has been low” says Ingo Stormer, a German anaesthetist. Scarcely two years out from
The reality is that without foreign trained doctors, a large part of the Australian health system would have long broken down, with 43% of all medical practitioners in the vast rural areas of the continent having gained their qualifications abroad. These fill the gaps due to the fact that Australian trained doctors are unwilling to dedicate their skills to the Outback, but rather prefer to establish their careers in the larger coastal cities. Presently, the RDAA has announced an urgent need for approximately 1600 more doctors, with at least a dozen needed to maintain the work of the Flying Doctor Service.
Additionally, more qualified nurses are used to take up the slack. “Positions that should be taken up by those medically qualified,” states Gordon Gregory, the chairman of the National Rural Health Alliance. And the situation becomes graver with many elderly and established country doctors now seeking retirement, leaving their practices, and not being replaced by others within their profession.
“Unfortunately, younger Australian doctors have abandoned the bush – and have no desire to take on the hard work so much evident in the country-practices,” says
Even migrant doctors are unwilling to go into country practise as they must commit themselves up to ten years service in the Bush. And things will get worse due to past negative experiences where under-qualified overseas doctors have brought their profession into disrepute with medical fraud, atrocious surgery leading to mutilation and even death of patients, and other disreputable and unethical practises. To counter this, authorities are intensifying the already complex guidelines for immigrants that wish to work in welfare occupations.
The flying doctor team has found one promising candidate in
Translation by Yuri Koszarycz
Friday, September 5, 2008
More on the GP workforce shortage:
Our campaign has come to the notice of the German press. It is in the newspaper Die Welt (readership of 690,000), in an article on the rural medical problem and the Royal Flying Doctor Service. The article is HERE.