The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists (RANZCP) welcomes the exclusion of psychiatrists from the changes to the 457 visa announced by the federal government.
‘The RANZCP was very pleased to see that there have not been any changes made to 457 visas for overseas trained psychiatrists at this time,’ RANZCP President, Professor Malcolm Hopwood said.
‘Overseas trained psychiatrists play a significant role in metropolitan, regional and remote communities.’
‘Currently, there is also a significant shortage of health services in rural areas of Australia, particularly in specialist areas such as child psychiatry, and it is often difficult to attract psychiatrists to work in these areas.’
‘In some areas of regional Australia there are only three psychiatrists to support 100,000 people, where as in major cities there are 17 psychiatrists for 100,000 people. It is no surprise that rural mental health issues such as anxiety, major depression and suicide rates have continued to rise.’
‘Many Australian communities rely entirely on overseas trained psychiatrists to fill the gap, and any moves to discourage them from taking up these roles would have a large impact on these communities,’ Professor Hopwood said.
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The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists is a membership organisation that prepares medical specialists in the field of psychiatry, supports and enhances clinical practice, advocates for people affected by mental illness and advises governments on mental health care. For information about our work, our members or our history, visit www.ranzcp.org.