Aussie doctors, nurses increase in numbers

Dec. 19, 2006 at 6:30 PM
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SYDNEY, Dec. 20 (UPI) -- The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare says there has been an increase in the number of doctors and nurses practicing in Australia.

Latest figures show a 14 percent increase in the nation's physician workforce since the year 2000, AIHW said in a statement. The number of nurses has increased by 12.5 percent since 1999.

AIHW spokesman Dr. Paul Meyer says there is still a gender imbalance in both professions but it is improving.

Statistics show the proportion of male nurses working in Australia increased slightly from 7.9 percent in 1999 to 8.7 percent in 2004.

"Within medical practitioners, the proportion that is female is now getting up to one-third," Meyer said.

Meyer added there is concern over the aging of Australia's medical workforce.

"Of the medical practitioners, nearly a-quarter are over the age of 55," he said. "In nursing, the proportion aged 50 and above in 1999 was 21.5 percent but in 2004, nearly 30 percent of nurses were over 50."

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