Medical ranks on Southern Downs set to grow with new interns

AS THE state's hospitals prepare to receive a record number of medical interns and officers this year the Warwick Hospital is set to welcome two interns starting later this month.

Warwick Hospital medical superintendent Dr Blair Koppen said there would be four interns across the Southern Downs.

"The new starters will be initiated in Toowoomba with two interns starting work at both Warwick and Stanthorpe from January 21," he said.

"These interns represent the future of the medical workforce.

"We hope they will decide to stay and help grow our regional workforce after finishing their training."

Dr Koppen said the interns would be able use the $4.39 million Griffith University Clinical School Buildings that opened in November last year, under a lease agreement with the university.

Health Minister Lawrence Springborg congratulated the thousands of medial officers and interns across the state starting their new roles.

"I would like to congratulate all our new starters and I am grateful we have been able to find as many places as we have for them across the state," Mr Springborg said.

"Despite tough economic conditions Queensland has managed to grow its intern position numbers."

Mr Springborg said the Department of Health had been able to offer 4559 placements in 2013.

This included 661 intern placements and 3898 resident medical officer positions.

Mr Springborg said while health services had tried to place as many applicants as possible, almost 100 resident medical officers would still miss out.

"I recognise there are real challenges for hospital boards to deliver a healthcare system that is efficient, affordable and sustainable," he said.

"However 95 resident medical officers will go without a place to work in Queensland, which is a shame.

"While I am very happy for the number of new people starting in the department next week, I do regret that we cannot accommodate everyone."



  • Intern: Has completed university degree. In first year of paid employment and under strict supervision.
  • Medical officer: In their second or third post-graduate years.

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