HEALTH SYSTEM BOOST WITH RECORD INTERN INTAKE

More than 1,000 medical graduate interns have this week joined the ranks of the NSW Health system – a record number of new starters and the most of any state or territory in Australia.

Premier Dominic Perrottet said that a record number of 1,073 interns are joining the NSW Health team this year, an increase of 32 positions compared with the previous year.

“We owe a debt of gratitude to the intern class of 2022, many of whom have already worked either as Assistants in Medicine or student vaccinators as part of the COVID-19 workforce response,” Mr Perrottet said.

“We have invested record amounts in our health system throughout the pandemic and these new interns will play a significant role in bolstering the ranks of our health workers as we continue to deal with the challenges of COVID-19.”

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Minister for Health Brad Hazzard extended a warm welcome to the new interns and thanked them for their readiness to join their dedicated fellow health workers during such a pivotal time in the State’s history.

“Our selfless health heroes have worked tirelessly to keep the people of NSW safe and well throughout the enormous challenges of this one-in-one-hundred year pandemic,” Mr Hazzard said.

“These new interns are starting their careers at a critical time in our battle against COVID-19 and will play a vital role in supporting existing health staff during our COVID-19 response.”

Minister for Regional Health Bronnie Taylor said that of the 1,073 positions, 162 belong to the Rural Preferential Recruitment scheme – an increase of 12 positions compared with the previous year.

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“The innovative Rural Preferential Recruitment Scheme allows interns to undertake the majority of their training in our rural hospitals, encouraging Junior Medical Officers (JMOs) to continue working in rural and regional NSW once they complete their training,” Mrs Taylor said.

“I am so pleased that the intern class of 2022 also includes 24 JMOs recruited via the Aboriginal Medical Workforce Pathway.”

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 who commenced orientation this week will be entering a training program with networked hospitals throughout the state, providing on the job training.

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They receive two-year contracts to rotate between metropolitan, regional and rural hospitals to ensure the diversity of their experience. They also join different units in each hospital, including surgery and emergency medicine.

In the largest ever health workforce boost in the state, the NSW Government has invested a record $2.8 billion to recruit an additional 1,060 doctors, 5,000 nurses, 880 allied health staff and 1,360 hospital support staff over a four year period.