It's Happy Holidays for all but nine locally trained doctors left without jobs in 2017, marking the first time any WA medical student has been unable to complete their qualification in this state. Without an internship these medical graduates cannot complete their training to practice as a qualified doctor in Australia, despite a strong desire to work in and give back to the local health system. These nine medical graduates are all international students who have studied at UWA for six years.
As published in a recent article in the West Australian, international medical students pay more than $250,000 to study medicine, with many sacrificing financial security and committing to the state. “These graduates have been trained by WA doctors and treated our patients, and they understand local conditions, so it’s a huge waste of resources if they can’t work here,” said the AMA (WA) President Dr. Andrew Miller.
There are five concerns with local international students not securing an internship:
- The investment from our government and health system in medical student education is lost when these students are unable to complete their qualification in Australia.
- We need continued revenue from international students to support our university and the standard of medical teaching. This revenue will rapidly decrease if these students do not receive internships and decide to pursue training elsewhere.
- We need to retain as many Australian-trained doctors as we can to adequately care for our community.
- We have an ethical responsibility to provide the final year of training to international students.
- We need to protect the future of the medical education for all WA students.
We urge anyone who is alarmed by this news to take these actions: