Two new medical schools and 234 extra medical students
The Federal Government has given in-principle agreement to two new medical schools in WA and Queensland as part of its allocation of 234 extra medical school places for next year - taking the total to 1704 students starting medicine in Australia.
05 June 2003
Two new medical schools and 234 extra medical studentsThe Federal Government has given in-principle agreement to two new medical schools in WA and Queensland as part of its allocation of 234 extra medical school places for next year - taking the total to 1704 students starting medicine in Australia.
The Federal Minister for Health and Ageing, Senator Kay Patterson said the placement of medical students had recognised fast growing populations and special needs in Queensland, Western Australia and Tasmania.
She said the Federal Government had given in-principle approval for new medical schools at Notre Dame University in WA and a new medical school on the Gold Coast.
Senator Patterson said the new medical schools would help cater for the medical needs of people living in the fast growing regions in the south-east corner of Queensland and WA. She stressed that the two new medical schools could not start operating before 2005 unless they received Australian Medical Council accreditation and the States making available suitable facilities for clinical training.
The places set aside for the new universities will be offered to existing universities in WA and Queensland in 2004.
"We have looked carefully at the States and taken into account projected population figures, doctor supply, the needs of the smaller medical schools and the need to ensure their viability," she said.
Senator Patterson said Tasmania had received 21 extra places, taking its new medical places to 83 in 2004. The Northern Territory, which has no medical school, has received special consideration with an extra 14 places at Flinders University in Adelaide, the majority of which are to be set aside for NT students.
Senator Patterson said that the Commonwealth actively monitors the adequacy of the medical workforce to ensure that Australia has a sustainable medical workforce.
In addition to existing programmes, under the Howard Government's A Fairer Medicare an additional 234 Australian medical school places will be made available for the start of the 2004 university year.
Universities in New South Wales and the ACT (including the new medical school at ANU due to start in 2004) will receive funding for a combined total of 94 additional student places, Victoria 10 extra, Queensland universities will be able to offer 50 extra students a place in a medical school, Western Australia's allocation is 45 extra, South Australia and the NT combined 14 additional places and 21 extra places will be funded in Tasmania.
This represents a 16% increase in total places across Australia.
All new medical school places created through A Fairer Medicare will be bonded for six years to work in areas of workforce shortage upon completion of medical training.
Senator Patterson said: "This is a fantastic opportunity for students, who under the current system might not get the chance to study medicine.
"The need for more doctors in rural and remote and some outer-metropolitan areas of Australia is widely recognised, and many communities have identified having a local doctor as high on their list of health priorities.
"These measures will help address the emerging shortages in the medical workforce, particularly in outer metropolitan and rural areas.
"This is an excellent opportunity for students, who will not only have a guaranteed job on completion of their training but they will also get to contribute their vital skills to an unserviced area."
For more information contact Randal Markey, Media Adviser, (02) 62777 220 or 0417 694 520