A crisis looms. Before November 2012, 181 trained medical students would find themselves without a graduate placement. Without this last step, they cannot practice as doctors in Australia.
A medical degree sees a student spend up to six years at university, where they gather a general education in medicine. Once complete, the student must find a graduate internship in a hospital, where they can then move from students to become actual doctors.
According to an audit by the Confederation of Postgraduate Medical Education Councils, 3326 Australian-trained medical graduates applied for 3080 internships in 2013. That leaves 181 graduating students - who have spent between $51,000 and $300,000 - without any option to further their barely-started career.
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Announcing a government program scheduled to happen at least three elections, seven Budgets and almost eight years away is not really a locked-in commitment. It’s an item on a wish list merely masquerading as a program of done and dusted certainty.
Prime Minister Julia Gillard today is expected to attempt the masquerade option with her government’s official response to the Gonski review of school funding systems.
Ms Gillard will give the National Press Club lunch address in which she will outline assistance for all categories of schools and special help for classes for the disadvantaged. But the scheme would not be in full-throated operation until 2020, and before then the Federal Government would have negotiate with the states for money which the premiers say they just don’t have.
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Sexism is not ok with Tanya Plibersek and her office; but apparently slander is. Plibersek has been forced to remove posters from her taxpayer funded Sydney electorate office openly suggesting Tony Abbott is a homophobic misogynist who hates refugees.
This is obviously not an uncommon view among the trendy inner-Sydney left and the posters may not have attracted much attention had the Minister for Health not styled herself as the bastion of political correctness.
Plibersek has been all over the ABC this week decrying the depths to which political discourse has slumped, questioning why any young woman would consider a political career in the face of such misogyny.
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There are a number of clear arguments the Government could rely on for means testing the Private Health Insurance Rebate. Health Minister Tanya Plibersek made some of them in Question Time yesterday afternoon.
“The total cost of this private health insurance rebate is about $5 billion a year, and if we do not make these modest changes, that leave around 20 million Australians unaffected, we will see the cost of this private health insurance rebate blow out by $100 billion over the next 40 years,” Plibersek told the House of Reps. That’s a good one.
Others include: Treasury estimates 99.7 per cent of people currently holding health insurance will keep it even if the 30 per cent rebate is means tested, a family would have to be on more than $250,000 a year before the rebate was fully withdrawn, and without this budget measure, worth $2.4 billion, hopes of a surplus are shot.
The Opposition questions the Treasury’s optimism about the impact of the measures, arguing more people will rely on the public system. All these points have been made, but they’ve been drowned out in the escalating class war being waged by both sides over a measure many reasonable voters would look at as a sound financial decision if they were given half the chance.
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The antics of the Minister for Women, Tanya Plibersek, this week are the latest in a long line of Labor tactics that continue to diminish and devalue the vital parliamentary arena of question time.
The point she made so loudly and proudly about the Opposition not allocating many questions to Coalition women is hollow and disingenuous.
Governments use Question Time to crow about themselves, using backbenchers, often in marginal seats, to ask pre-arranged questions. Political reality necessitates that the leadership team in Opposition use question time to hold the government to account.
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