Students slam new rural medical school
By Tessa Hoffman, Senior Reporter, Australian Doctor
Medical students have condemned a push for a new medical school in regional NSW, claiming it will fuel a training bottleneck predicted to leave 400 graduates without internships next year.
The NSW Medical Students' Council says it makes no sense for the Federal Government to consider spending $46 million on a new medical school when current students are missing out on internship and GP training positions.
Council chair Neel Gobin (pictured) says he expects 120-140 full-fee paying medical students to miss out on internships next year in NSW alone.
The Australian Medical Students' Association is tipping a national figure of 400.
Given the government had recently promised to fund Curtin University's medical school in WA, which is to open in 2017, it should fix bottlenecks in the system before considering funding the Murray-Darling medical school proposed by Charles Sturt and La Trobe universities, Mr Gobin says.
"These bottlenecks exist in every state," he said. "Australia needs more doctors, not more medical students."
The universities say the school will help solve the rural doctor shortage.
It will have an 80% rural, regional and Indigenous intake, and offer 120 places across campuses at Orange and Wagga Wagga in NSW, and Bendigo in Victoria.
While the government has not committed funding, the idea is backed by Assistant Minister for Health Senator Fiona Nash.
Charles Sturt University's secretary and director of corporate affairs, Mark Burdack, who would become the medical school's executive director, rejects the claim the school will exacerbate the internship shortage.
Mr Burdack says it will only offer places to Commonwealth-supported students that come with a guaranteed internship.
"This is a rural medical school for rural students because we're worried about rural workforce," he said.
Article published on 15 June 2015, via Australian Rural Doctor -
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