The Australian Government will spend A$632m ($578m) over ten years to train more than 5,000 new doctors, Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has announced.

Funds will be spent on training 5,500 GPs and 680 specialists and will also pay for 5,400 junior doctors to take part in general practice placements before gaining their final qualifications.

The funding includes A$145m ($133m) for specialist training in areas like general surgery, pathology, radiology, obstetrics and gynaecology. A$340m ($311m) will fund the 5,500 GP training positions and A$148m ($135m) will be used for junior doctors.

“To maintain current levels of GP and primary care services alone it is estimated that an additional 3,000 GPs will be needed by 2020,” Rudd said.

The government also proposed to take back 30% of GST funding from the states to directly fund 60% of hospitals, according to