THERE are fresh faces in town this week, with three new doctors beginning their careers as interns at Coffs Harbour Health Campus.
The interns are three of more than 600 new doctors taking their first step into the public health system in NSW, a move Australian Medical Association president Dr Brian Morton said will ease some of the pressure arising from the medical workforce shortage.
“Given that a large number of doctors are nearing retirement and medical services in hospital are being cut, there are now fewer doctors and services available in NSW,” Dr Morton said. “This means fewer training opportunities for interns and students, whose numbers will double by 2012.”
Dr Morton said the next few years will present major challenges for the new interns. “The government needs to do more to retain experienced doctors in rural NSW so that enough clinical training places are available to train future generations of doctors,” he said.