The funding will support 132 extra full time equivalent Junior Medical Officer (JMO) positions in 2022. This equates to 575 psychiatry rotations across 20 public health services in metropolitan and regional Victoria.
The Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System recommended a series of reforms to expand and better support the mental health and wellbeing workforce.
The reforms include an increase in the proportion of JMOs undertaking a training rotation in psychiatry.
Increasing the availability of psychiatry rotations provides doctors with on-the-ground mental health training early in their career. The placements also provide mental health services with extra workforce.
Expanding psychiatry rotations means more doctors, regardless of specialisation, will gain foundational skills and knowledge to identify and support patients with mental illness or psychological distress.
This program is part of a reform package that aims to overcome a shortage of psychiatrists and ensure doctors across specialties are better skilled to support the mental health needs of the Victorian community.
The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists (RANZCP) is developing a training program to further support the skills and training of junior doctors on psychiatry rotations.
The RANZCP has been awarded $285,000 to develop the training program, to be implemented across Victorian health services in 2022.
The training program will focus on developing foundational psychiatry skills for junior doctors that are consistent across mental health services and transferable across medical practice areas.
It will support Victorian doctors to receive a positive learning experience that encourages them to specialise in psychiatry.
The government also announced construction has started on a new 22-bed acute mental health facility at the Royal Melbourne Hospital.
It is part of a $492 million investment in more mental health beds across the state.
Read more on the Victorian Health Building Authority website.