Work-readiness and workforce numbers: the challenges

Richard B Murray and Andrew Wilson
Med J Aust 2017; 206 (10): . || doi: 10.5694/mja17.00226
Published online: 5 June 2017

We need clinicians prepared for work in a system of integrated, person-centred, affordable health care

Over the past 15 years or so, Australia has embarked upon what some might describe as a “courageous” solution for guaranteeing our medical workforce. Following a perceived shortage of doctors at the beginning of the 2000s, the number of accredited medical schools has grown from 10 to 20,1 with another currently undergoing accreditation; the number of medical graduates has almost tripled from 1316 in 2001 to 3547 in 2015.2 Increasingly large numbers of doctors have also been recruited from overseas to overcome shortfalls: 2820 temporary visas were granted during 2014–15 alone.3 The per capita production of local medical graduates4 and growth in the stock of foreign-trained doctors5 are among the highest in the world.

  • 1 James Cook University, Townsville, QLD
  • 2 Menzies Centre for Health Policy, Sydney, NSW


Competing interests:

No relevant disclosures.


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