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Over 4,000 new junior medical officers to be recruited for NSW

07 August, 2008

NSW Minister for Health Reba Meagher has said that over 4,000 junior medical officer positions will be advertised across Australia and overseas.

Meagher said the process is very competitive with all Australian states and territories vying for high calibre doctors.

"During last year's recruitment round NSW Health received over 43,000 applications for around 4,200 positions," Meagher said.

"These applications were submitted by more than 4,700 applicants, making it one of the largest mass recruitment processes in the country. This year we are recruiting for around the same number of positions and I'm hopeful we'll get the same level of interest."

Meagher said the positions are for junior doctors at all levels of training from the second postgraduate year, through to vocational trainees in a broad range of specialty areas, who are in the final stages of their specialist training.

Over 3,500 applicants to last year's recruitment process were doctors from NSW and there were also 500 interstate applicants and over 800 from other countries.

"The Iemma Government is working hard to recruit more clinicians into our hospitals right across the state and this campaign is a major part of that," Meagher said.

Positions will be advertised from until 22 August 2008 and successful applicants will be notified in October, so they can be ready to start work in our public hospitals in mid-January.

Meagher also announced improvements to the way relief doctors, or locums, are selected, employed and function in NSW public hospitals.

To be implemented over the next 12 months, a set of new standard will lift the bar for medical locum agencies that provide this important service.

"We want to ensure maximum support for our doctors and ensure the best quality care for patients no matter where they live," Meagher said.

Commencing in August, the new package will include:

  • A set of employment standards and working conditions for approved locum agencies that will strengthen the quality of locum services
  • Additional professional development for doctors through the provision of training opportunities.

"Locums are an important and valued sector of the health workforce and these arrangements will lift standards and deliver better value to the public health system," Meagher said.

"They will allow us to better align the needs of the hospital with the skills of the doctor to be deployed and importantly, the agency will be responsible for ensuring that a doctor's qualifications have been formally verified."

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