Emergency Medicine (EM) was recognised as a principal specialty in Australia in 1993, and the development of EM has had a profound effect on the way healthcare is delivered in Australia. Most major Australian hospitals now have 6–12 full-time emergency physicians. The Australian Medical Workforce Advisory Committee has estimated that more than twice the current number of EM physicians will be needed by 2007.1 Within five years from now, major emergency departments (EDs) will have 16-hour, 7-day cover (some will have 24-hour cover). Subspecialisation will occur in toxicology, retrieval, disaster medicine, paediatric emergency medicine and hyperbaric medicine, and academic EM will grow rapidly.
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