12 January 2016 – Media Statement, The Honourable Dr Anthony Lynham MP, Minister for State Development, Minister for Natural Resources and Mines –
A record 740 graduates in Medicine will start work as interns in Queensland hospitals this week, part of the Palaszczuk Labor Government’s moves to provide better frontline services in Queensland hospitals.
The Prince Charles Hospital is one of the hospitals taking on record numbers of new interns. Acting Minister for Health and Ambulance Services Dr Anthony Lynham visited Prince Charles Hospital this week to welcome the 25 new interns at the hospital.
“I’m delighted so many interns are entering our hospitals – and that 25 of them are working at The Prince Charles Hospital in my electorate of Stafford. These people face a challenging year, they will be learning from the ground up how hospitals work and the role they are expected to play,” Dr Lynham said.
Speaking with interns at Prince Charles Hospital
“The increase in the number of interns reflects our Government’s focus on putting more people on the frontline providing services to the public. Last year 705 interns started work in Queensland hospitals, this year’s intake of 740 represents a 5 per cent increase.
The biggest increase is on the Sunshine Coast where 54 interns started this week, well up from the 42 who started last year. Health services on the coast are gearing up for the opening of the Sunshine Coast University Hospital later this year.
Cairns and Toowoomba hospital also have increased intern intakes while Mt Isa and the Redlands, where there has been limited training in the past, will become full venues for the first time.
Dr Lynham said that the interns had started work yesterday and spend their first week in an orientation program which included familiarising themselves with the hospital, its services and clinical practice and procedures.
“The new doctors will spend their first week getting to know their way around the hospital and meeting senior staff. Once they have found their feet they will begin their first rotation in a variety of specialities including obstetrics, emergency, acute medical and surgery.”
Another element of this year’s intake is that 91 of the interns will be trained in the Rural Generalist Pathway, which was set up by the Labor Government in 2006 to provide a constant flow of new doctors for rural Queensland.
The Queensland Rural Generalist Pathway, hosted by the Darling Downs Hospital and Health Service, aims to provide medical graduates with a supported training pathway to a career in rural medicine and rural and remote communities with a skilled medical workforce.
The pathway is now the main source of rural medical workforce in Queensland, and this year will have more than double the number of Rural Generalist Intern Training positions than in 2013.
The pathway provides doctors with valuable additional procedural skills in areas such as obstetrics, emergency medicine and anaesthetics, Indigenous health, paediatrics and mental health and allows them to go on and specialise in rural and remote general practice.
11 of the rural generalists will be at Mackay while a further 19 will be at Cairns.