Change may create disincentive for doctors to pursue training


ONE of the measures announced by the Federal Government to help fund the Gonski reform package will lead to fewer doctors taking on extra training.

Australian Medical Association president Steve Hambleton slammed the government's decision to cap the tax deduction for work-related self-education expenses to $2000 per person would from July 1.

He said the change, which would create a saving of $520 million over the next four years, would create a disincentive for doctors to pursue specialised medical training.

"Medical training courses are very detailed and do not come cheap," Dr Hambleton said.

"Australia has some of the most demanding medical training courses in the world, and the Medical Board of Australia and the Medical Colleges require doctors to maintain their skills through continuing professional development.

"A $2000 cap on tax deductions self-education expenses for doctors falls well below many basic course costs."

Dr Hambleton said some doctors undertook more than one course per year, with some costing more than $3000 each.

He predicted the change would hit junior doctors, salaried doctors, GPs, other specialists and patients."We urge the government to reconsider these ill-informed changes," he said.

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