Medical Training Review Panel: Seventeenth Report


Page last updated: 09 April 2014

Medical Training Review Panel
GPO Box 9848, Canberra ACT 2601
Telephone: (02) 6289 3348
Fax: (02) 6289 8600

The Hon Peter Dutton MP
Minister for Health
Minister for Sport
Parliament House
Canberra ACT 2600

Dear Minister

In accordance with the requirements of subsection 3GC(4) of the Health Insurance Act 1973, I am pleased to submit to you the seventeenth report of the Medical Training Review Panel (MTRP).

Health Workforce Australia (HWA) was responsible for collating data for the MTRP annual report, and the production of this report was completed by the Department.

The report covers the three levels of medical training in Australia, providing data on all trainees in undergraduate, postgraduate and vocational training programs in 2013. It also provides information on graduates and college fellows for 2012. Additional information on doctors who were trained overseas and the countries in which they undertook their studies, those who applied for, and those who have been granted visas to work in Australia, is also included to provide a more complete picture of the supply of medical practitioners.

The data were provided by the Medical Deans Australia and New Zealand Inc, medical colleges, General Practice Education and Training Limited, state and territory health departments through their postgraduate medical councils and the Australian Medical Council. Selected administrative data from the Australian Government Department of Health and the Australian Government Department of Immigration and Border Protection are also included in the report.

There are now 16,994 medical students studying in Australian medical schools. This is an increase of 126 or 0.7% from 2012.

In 2013, there were 3,125 trainees in their intern year and 3,197 in their second year of prevocational training. In addition, there were 17,888 doctors who were working or training in an accredited vocational training position, post, facility or program and were seeking to specialise in one of the 23 recognised medical specialties.

In summary, the data within the report highlight the continued increase in medical training that has occurred, particularly since 2007. The boost to the health workforce is key to addressing shortages in many parts of Australia, however, presents significant challenges for all involved in medical education and training as the numbers of commencing medical students and vocational trainees continue to grow.

The MTRP is constituted of representatives of the key stakeholders in medical workforce training. Together the membership brings knowledge of the various levels of training and different insights into the way medical education and training is being undertaken currently and how the system can deal with the challenges of not only ever increasing numbers of students and trainees, but producing the workforce trained in the areas needed and equipped with the skills necessary for the future.

The MTRP is looking forward to continuing its work over the coming year focusing on key issues affecting medical education and training. It will continue to work with Health Workforce Australia to better understand country’s medical workforce supply and how to tailor medical education and training to ensure that the workforce is able to meet the future needs of Australians.

Yours sincerely

Kerry Flanagan
Medical Training Review Panel
April 2014