It's interesting to note that in his defence of psychiatry over psychology, Dr Alan Jager did not refer to better or quicker outcomes or improved efficiency (The Age, 16/7/2005). Instead, he mentions the 13 years of training. Given the first few years are largely concerned with cell chemistry and the bones of the foot, I'm not sure that this is something to crow about!
Surely the debate should move beyond who's the most over-qualified and on to who can efficiently deliver the best outcomes for patients? Performance alone should dictate access to taxpayer funds, not historical privilege.
Sadly, the huge struggle required to prise the prescription pad from the hands of the doctors' union indicates that they won't give up their Medicare slips without a serious fight either.