I recently stayed with a good GP friend of mine in London. He is an excellent clinician, a compassionate human being and, above all, an incurable optimist. I was sad, therefore, to find him preoccupied with the decline of the NHS and disillusioned with his career working for it.
In a masterstroke of barely disguised money saving, Hockey has finally grasped the co-payment nettle and introduced a hefty $7 impost on the Australian public every time they want to see a doctor. I personally think $1 would have had the same effect without creating quite such a political firestorm.
Working with specialist physicians in Australia since 2008 I have coached hundreds of doctors through their next career move. For senior doctors a new job is 9 times out of 10 life-changing, sometimes involving relocation of the whole family.
The recent debate in Ireland over doctors' hours has brought back some not so fond memories of my own internship in Scotland. My record shift was 57 hours straight with about 1.5 hours sleep. I actually fell asleep whilst walking down the corridor to write up a paracetamol order.
For anyone with even a passing interest in how doctors get paid, all eyes are on Queensland at the moment. The new government is well down the path of making sweeping reforms to senior doctors' contracts and while the ‘whats’ are becoming clearer the ‘whys’ remain a little on the fuzzy side.
Nature teaches us a lot about the need for a rich and balanced ecosystem. Knock out one species and top predators starve, weeds and algae bloom and co-dependent species go extinct. So it is with the medical workforce which is large, essential and 24/7.
Everyone loves the Oscars, the Emmys and the Arias. We love the human drama and, because they are for celebrities, we all take a keen interest. However, most industries like to celebrate their best and brightest in some fashion. And for good reason - awards not only allow an industry ...
I couldn’t agree more with Richard Murray, Dean of Medicine at James Cook University. There is no shortage of doctors in Australia and never has been - the problem is one of mal-distribution. The numbers speak for themselves - 3.3 doctors per 1000 head of population in Australia ...
So Tony Abbott finally made it into office and we now face at least three years of coalition government. What does this mean for health and the doctors that make up the medical workforce? Peter Dutton may be the new Health Minister but, with his background, Abbott is bound to have a strong influence on policy.
Moving jobs is always a nerve-wracking experience and this is even more the case when you are moving country as well. To make matters worse you might be expected to take a job sight unseen, given the impracticalities of traveling halfway round the world just for an interview.
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About the Author
About the author
Dr John Bethell graduated from Aberdeen Medical School in 1990 and worked as a doctor in both the UK and Australia, launching Wavelength with co-founder Claire Ponsford in 1999. As a pioneer and market leader of medical recruitment in Australia Dr Bethell has seen the industry grow and mature. After two decades of helping doctors find work and healthcare employers find doctors, he sees the medical workforce world from a unique perspective.