AIDA Calls for Placement Equity for Medical Students

08 May 2024
Media Release

The Australian Indigenous Doctors’ Association (AIDA) is calling on the federal government to include medical students in the cost-of-living support for teaching, nursing and social work students and create financial parity. 

The lack of financial support for medical students during their placements is a barrier to some Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander students enrolling in medical studies and contributing to better health outcomes for First Nations peoples. AIDA believes that medical students should receive the same level of financial support as their counterparts in other health and social care professions. 

AIDA President, Dr Simone Raye, has said it’s vital for medical students enrolled on long degrees to be offered further support: “There’s a significant medical workforce shortage in Australia, therefore it’s imperative we support future professionals effectively if we want to see an increase in the number of doctors.” 

“The travel and time commitments required for placements usually mean it is challenging to have a second job to supplement a student’s income. Paid placement parity is crucial to attracting and retaining Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander Peoples medical students who can help to address health inequities in our communities,” Dr Raye said. 

There are currently 472 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander doctors in training, including Kyle Ryan, Student Director at AIDA who urged the government to re-think its decision. 

“I am shocked to hear that medical students have been excluded from receiving financial support during their clinical placements. This is a missed opportunity by the federal government to create more equity and equality for medical students and greatly alleviate the added financial stress created by these time-consuming work periods. 

“Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander medical students already face lots of barriers, including the rising cost of living and financial inequity among our communities. Paid placements for doctors would reaffirm that the government values the medical profession and those studying to better the health of all Australians. 

AIDA urges the government to expand the additional financial support to include medical students and to help incentivise the next generation of First Nations doctors. 


The Australian Indigenous Doctors’ Association (AIDA) is the peak body representing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander medical students and doctors in Australia. Our purpose is to grow ethical and professional Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander doctors who will lead and drive equitable and just health outcomes for our people. 

08 May 2024