Date published: 
29 October 2019
Media type: 
Media release
Audience: 
General public

Regional students wanting to become rural GPs can undertake their training in Bendigo and Wodonga, thanks to a $7 million injection from the Federal Liberal and Nationals Government.

Minister for Regional Services, Decentralisation and Local Government, Mark Coulton today welcomed the early results of the Coalition Government’s investment at La Trobe University, which is helping rural students on the path to a medicine degree.

“Research shows that students who study in the regions are more likely to stay and work in a rural area at the end of their studies, which is why it’s important for them to have a choice to undertake study locally,” Minister Coulton said.

“Today I’ve inspected the anatomy laboratory and met with students in Bendigo who are on their way to becoming rural doctors.”

Minister Coulton said the Coalition Government-backed Bachelor of Biomedical Science (Medical) undergraduate degree was available in Bendigo and Wodonga.

The $7 million investment also includes funding for refurbished laboratories at both campuses and means students have access to state of the art equipment during their training.

“After successfully completing their biomedical degree, students are guaranteed a place in the University of Melbourne’s new Doctor of Medicine (Rural) degree at Shepparton, which starts in 2022,” Minister Coulton said.

“These university courses are targeted at students from regional areas, and I’m pleased to be part of a government that’s providing a choice for students to undertake their studies locally.”

Minister Coulton said investment through La Trobe University over three years to 2020–21 is provided through the Murray-Darling Medical Schools Network that is delivering an end-to-end approach to rural training to improve the future distribution of the medical workforce.

There is also an additional $4.4 million in 2019 and 2020 to establish La Trobe University’s new University Department of Rural Health.

“The University Department of Rural Health is increasing the clinical training opportunities for nursing and allied health students across regional Victoria, which is a core focus of mine,” he said.

“The Coalition Government is committed to improving health outcomes for rural Australians and ensuring that all communities have access to the medical care they need.”