Bush Doctors turned away

I refer to your article Bush doctors turned away January 30, 2013. 

To say that there is a lack of places for young intern doctors in rural hospitals and in other rural training programs is incorrect.

NSW has had in place for some years a program to attract more intern doctors to rural areas, The Rural Preferential Recruitment Scheme.

This program allows newly graduated doctors to base themselves for their first two years of practice in a rural location. 

Numbers have grown from 15 positions in 2008 to 81 positions in 2012. 

A record 108 positions were available for this recruitment pathway for a 2013 start. 

One hundred and thirteen applications were received and of these, 89 applicants have now begun their positions in rural areas.

This represents almost a 50 per cent increase on the number of rural based interns in 2012. 

It is worth noting that NSW currently operates the only program of this kind in the country.

Heather Gray

Chief Executive Health Education and Training Institute