NSW Premier and Minister for Western Sydney Barry O’Farrell and Health Minister Jillian Skinner have welcomed the record 959 medical graduates who will undertake a year-long internship in the State’s public hospitals this year.
Mr O’Farrell and Mrs Skinner were joined by Parramatta MP Geoff Lee and Granville MP Tony Issa at Westmead Hospital to greet interns - including interns from Auburn Hospital - on their first day or orientation.
Mr O’Farrell and Mrs Skinner also welcomed interns from Orange Hospital and Coffs Harbour Hospital via teleconference – part of the large contingent of interns starting in the State’s regional hospitals.
“The NSW Government is proud of its investment in medical internships, from our largest tertiary hospitals to regional and rural hospitals,” Mr O’Farrell said.
“NSW employs more interns than any other state or territory in Australia.
“This year’s record 959 intern training places is up 32 places from 2013.
“This represents a funding commitment by the NSW Government of over $105 million per annum and is part of our ongoing commitment to boost frontline health services across the State.”
Mrs Skinner told the interns: “The first day of an internship is a great milestone in the life of every young doctor.
“I commend each one of you for completing your university studies and wish you well at the start of this challenging new journey.”
NSW guarantees intern positions to all domestic medical graduates of NSW universities. As well, NSW provides internships to many graduates from interstate universities and, where possible, international full-fee paying medical graduates.
NSW is the only state or territory to offer two-year employment contracts to medical graduates.
“The first two years of postgraduate training of doctors is vital for developing a highly skilled workforce for NSW," Mrs Skinner said.
During their one-year internship, the graduates will complete compulsory terms in the specialties of medicine, surgery and emergency.
The interns will rotate through metropolitan, regional or rural hospitals, as well as GP practices and, for one network, a private hospital - the Sydney Adventist Hospital (SAN) at Wahroonga.
“The rotation through a hospital network exposes interns to a range of medical scenarios at the outset of their training,” Mrs Skinner said.
NSW’s unique Rural Preferential Recruitment Scheme will enable 82 of the 956 interns to spend the majority of their first two years as doctors working in a rural setting.
“NSW is committed to increasing the Aboriginal medical workforce,” Mrs Skinner said.
“I am pleased to welcome 11 Aboriginal medical graduates who have been recruited through the Building Capacity of the Aboriginal medical workforce intern recruitment pathway.”
Westmead Hospital, Auburn Hospital, Orange Hospital and Coffs Harbour Hospital comprise the Westmead intern training network, through which about 12 per cent of the state’s interns will rotate during their one-year internship.
Sydney hospitals in which medical graduates will commence their one-year internship include: Auburn (10), Bankstown-Lidcombe (26), Blacktown-Mount Druitt (37), Campbelltown-Camden (15), Canterbury (10), Concord (32), Fairfield (6), Hornsby (17), Liverpool (45), Manly (9), Nepean (50), Prince of Wales (36), Royal North Shore (44), Royal Prince Alfred (45), Ryde (11), St George (44), St Vincent’s (29), Sutherland (24), Westmead (70).
Hospitals outside Sydney where medical graduates will commence their one-year internship include: Broken Hill (3), Coffs Harbour (19), Dubbo (12), Gosford (38), John Hunter in Newcastle (44), Lismore (17), Maitland (7), Orange (15), Port Macquarie (18), Shoalhaven (3), Tamworth (17), Tweed Heads (18), Wagga Wagga (22), Wollongong (50), Wyong (23).