Workforce shortage claim scorned

RURAL doctors have poured scorn on a government-commissioned report suggesting the doctor shortage in the bush is easing.

Meanwhile Health Minister Nicola Roxon is still considering the release of another study of the much maligned Australian Standard Geographical Classification – Remoteness Area (ASGC-RA) system used to attract GPs to smaller towns.

The government-commissioned Deloitte Access Economics report found regional workforce programs were helping redress the lack of medical services in rural areas, and predicted the trend would continue during the next decade.

But RDAA president Dr Paul Mara said the real state of the rural health workforce was more accurately shown in a recent Monash University study of MABEL data, which showed doctors in smaller towns worked longer hours than their city colleagues.

A spokesman for Ms Roxon said the minister had not decided whether to release an Adelaide University study into the effects