Staff and patients in NSW public hospitals are set to benefit from a major workforce boost with almost 1,100 medical graduate interns starting work in city and country hospitals this week – more than any other state or territory in Australia.
Health Minister Brad Hazzard and Minister for Regional Health Bronnie Taylor extended a warm welcome to the class of 2023, the biggest intake of medical graduate interns ever in NSW.
Minister Hazzard said the new medical graduates were ready to launch rewarding careers in health, working with and learning from NSW's experienced and highly skilled medical staff in hospitals across the state.
"These new doctors have chosen a very rewarding career path and during their internships will build their skills and gain diverse experience across a range of medical specialties in metropolitan, rural and regional areas," Mr Hazzard said.
"They will also be a tremendous boost to their colleagues already in the hospitals – our dedicated health staff who have performed remarkably during a very challenging three years.
"The NSW Government is continuing to invest in building the state's health workforce so that communities continue to receive world-class healthcare in public hospitals in our cities and rural and regional areas."
Minister Taylor said the new medical graduates will be welcomed with open arms to our rural and regional hospitals, with almost one third or 396 of the positions in the bush.
"The NSW Nationals and Liberals in Government are committed to strengthening our regional health workforce, and ensuring the people of rural and regional NSW continue to have access to the high-quality healthcare they need and deserve," Mrs Taylor said.
"Interns seeking to complete their internship in our regions were able to apply through the Rural Preferential Recruitment pathway and, this year, 176 Rural Preferential intern positions were available – an increase of 13 positions from 2022."
Interns are medical graduates who have completed their medical degree and are required to complete a supervised year of practice in order to become independent practitioners.
The new doctors starting their internship will be entering a training program with networked hospitals throughout the state, providing formal and on-the-job training.
They receive two-year contracts to rotate between metropolitan, regional and rural hospitals to ensure the diversity of their experience. They also rotate across different specialties during the intern year, including surgery, medicine and emergency medicine.
The NSW Government is investing a record $33 billion in health as part of the 2022 - 23 NSW Budget. The NSW Government has also announced the largest workforce boost in the nation's history with a $4.5 billion investment over four years for 10,148 full-time equivalent (FTE) staff to hospitals and health services across NSW.