The Albanese Government is supporting specialist training for First Nations doctors and medical students with the Australian Indigenous Doctors Association (AIDA) receiving a $900,000 funding boost.
The AIDA – a not-for-profit peak body representing First Nations doctors and medical students – will use the funding to help deliver equitable access to culturally safe, respectful and responsive non-GP medical specialist training for First Nations people.
The funding will also help the recruitment and retention of First Nations doctors who are looking to start or who are currently undertaking non-GP specialist medical training.
So far, more than 40 doctors and medical students have received 200 hours of culturally appropriate, tailored support.
This includes performance coaching, advocacy and cultural support, while sharing learnings and experiences in a culturally safe place.
The funding is under the Specialist Trainee Support Program (STSP), a consortium project led by AIDA with all 13 non-GP Specialist Medical Colleges.
The STSP is improving recruitment, selection and retention of First Nations specialist trainees, increasing the focus of cultural safety in medical college-led training, and providing tailored one-on-one support to current and prospective trainees.
This helps grow the First Nations workforce, reduces barriers for doctors to work and train in rural and remote communities, and increases the number of trainees in undersupplied specialities.
The STSP complements the National Medical Workforce Strategy, which will guide reform in Australia over the next 10 years, targeting service gaps and inefficiencies that potentially impact quality of care.
Quotes attributable to Minister Butler:
“The Albanese Government is supporting First Nations doctors and medical students develop their careers.
“Training more First Nations health workers and making sure they have the skills to deliver high quality, culturally responsive care will deliver overall better health outcomes for First Australians.
“The STSP’s success is a tangible demonstration that meaningful change is achievable through collaborative commitment.”
Quotes attributable to Assistant Minister McCarthy:
“The STSP continues to go from strength to strength and is making a real on-the-ground difference in providing specialist care for Indigenous Australians.
“Its work promotes a health system that is culturally safe, reflective of needs and inclusive of the cultural values of First Nations people, with the expectation this will improve the health and life outcomes across communities.
“Through the STSP, 100% of doctors coached were successful applicants in their specialist training field of choice; and as of March this year, all the colleges involved had retained 100 per cent of their First Nations trainees, fulfilling a key objective of the program since its inception.”