The NSW Government has announced that more than a thousand medical students each year will be given the opportunity to gain hands-on experience working in paid positions in hospitals across the state.

Member for Goulburn Wendy Tuckerman said the Assistant in Medicine (AiM) initiative was an innovative collaboration between universities and the NSW Government, initially introduced in 2020 as a temporary workforce surge measure during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The Assistant in Medicine program enables final year medical students to work part time in our public health system, carrying out a range of tasks including admitting and reviewing patients and performing routine procedures such as taking blood,” Mrs Tuckerman said.

“The initiative is a win-win for medical students and our public health system – the students gain valuable hands-on experience, while our health system has an additional workforce to draw upon.”

Since the AiM role was introduced, over 1,100 NSW medical students have worked as Assistants in Medicine in rural, regional and metropolitan hospitals, providing medical care and support as part of multi-disciplinary teams.

Mrs Tuckerman said the Australian-first program has had strong support from medical students, doctors and the universities, who have told the NSW Government that they want these part-time roles to become a permanent part of the health system.

“This is another example of the NSW Government finding new ways of working to benefit people right across our state, on top of our pharmacy reforms and our Urgent Care Services, which are designed to ease pressure on GPs and emergency departments,” Mrs Tuckerman said.

“Over the past three years these Assistants in Medicine have worked across the state supporting our medical professionals on the frontline, giving doctors more time to focus directly on patient care.”

NSW Health will work with universities over the next 12-months to create a permanent program that can be integrated into curriculums and the health workforce.

The NSW Government announced the largest workforce boost in the nation’s history in the 2022-23 Budget with a $4.5 billion investment over four years to recruit 10,148 full-time equivalent staff to hospitals and health services across NSW, with 3,800 of those positions in rural and regional areas.

The NSW Government is investing $883 million over the next four years to attract and retain staff in rural and regional NSW by transforming the way health clinicians are incentivised to work in the bush.

In addition, under a joint initiative with Victoria, the NSW Government will deliver expanded urgent care services across NSW to relieve the demand on emergency departments.