Gen Y docs lured away

YOUNG doctors eager to explore the world rather than heading home to work are creating challenges for hospitals and clinics.

The “Generation Y” factor is luring more young country medical graduates away to the capital cities rather than home towns, according to a gathering of health and employment experts in Warrnambool yesterday. 

Representatives from hospitals in Warrnam-bool, Hamilton and Portland, as well as local health services said obstacles remained in bringing experts to the south-west. “The messages we expect are the difficulty of recruiting and then supporting and main-taining a health workforce,” Rural Workforce Agency Victoria (RWAV) chairman Dr Phillip Webster said. 

“What are the programs that work? 

“Local students being given scholarships to go and study at their preferred career, do they return and work in the local community or are they lost to the big city? 

“It’s what people label the Gen Y factor — clearly we live in a different era. 

“I grew up in a rural area and went away to university, trained and went back to that community.” RWAV chief executive Rod Jackson said bringing doctors to the region was more than just throwing money around. 

“It is more complicated than that because you’ve got to have community support for them,” Mr Jackson said. 

“It’s important to have a good network around them — in areas like Warrnambool it’s cheaper than being in Melbourne and other locations. You’ve got Deakin University and you’ve got a good rail link.” 

He said the group also supported Hamilton’s National Centre For Farmer Health. 

s.mccomish@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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