THE Chief Minister of the Australian Capital Territory, Katy Gallagher, has dismissed concerns about the ACT Health Directorate’s decision to change the way medical internships are allocated at the Canberra Hospital.
Last month, the Health Directorate told Australian National University (ANU) medical students that they would no longer be given priority in the allocation of internships at the hospital if they simultaneously applied for positions at hospitals in other Australian states and territories.
The change in policy prompted the national president of the Australian Medical Students’ Association, Ben Veness, to brand the move as “coercive, anti-competitive, and exploitative”.1
Last Wednesday, Mr Veness met with Chief Minister Gallagher in a bid to ease the pressure on the potential interns; with little success.
“It was a very disappointing meeting”, Mr Veness told the MJA.
“The Chief Minister has absolutely no sympathy for the plight of these students.
“What concerns us is that this is such a convenient solution to the intern crisis for governments that it may set a precedent for other states and territories to follow.”
Applications for internships were due on 7 June, with the first round of offers expected on 29 July.
Canberra Hospital offers more than 90 internships, and all ANU Medical School graduates are guaranteed a first-round offer, provided they do not apply elsewhere.
1 Jean P. Limited options upset medical students. Canberra Times 2013; 22 May. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/national/health/limited-options-upset-medical-students-20130521-2jzfx.html (accessed Jun 2013).
Publication of your online response is subject to the Medical Journal of Australia's editorial discretion. You will be notified by email within five working days should your response be accepted.