“This is despite the growing burden of chronic disease and a recognised need for more generalist doctors (with a wide range of skills across different disease areas) inside, but especially outside of, major cities,” the report said.
With the gap between GPs’ and specialists’ incomes growing, Professor Scott said the prospects of filling vacant GP training places had become more difficult. Despite the efforts by policy makers to persuade more GPs to go rural, the percentage of GPs outside major cities had fallen slightly from 29.2 per cent in 2013 to 28.7 per cent in 2019.
The report found that International Medical Graduates (IMGs) make up 35.1 per cent of the Australian medical workforce in clinical practice.
“The reliance on IMGs in rural and regional areas is likely to continue as long as domestically trained doctors have strong preferences to work in major cities,” Professor Scott said.
The research found that specialists earned almost twice as much as GPs. GP incomes increased by 10.7 per cent (from $189,574 to $209,938) between 2008 and 2018. The income of specialists increased by 21.5 per cent (from $338,554 to $411,575) over the same period.
“The income gap is just huge and is not getting better,” Professor Scott said.
There has been an increased supply of doctors overall in the past 20 years, but the report found that the increased supply has “disproportionately funnelled away from primary care”. Professor Scott said some specialists were starting to move to rural areas because they could not find jobs in the cities, but this may not have been their preference.
Event management scholarships
The NSW Government is funding 18 scholarships in events management in partnership with Meetings and Events Australia.
Applications for the scholarships to study a Diploma of Event Management online are now open and close on July 4.
Minister for Jobs Stuart Ayres said the scholarships support job creation and provide a great opportunity for aspiring event managers.
“Whether you are already working in tourism or events, or looking to jumpstart your career, this program provides a platform to further develop your skills in a field that injects big dollars into our economy,” he said.
For more information and to apply for a scholarship, visit https://www.meetinnsw.com.au/scholarships