- Charles Sturt University will receive $14.8 million in the 2022 Federal Budget
- The funding will go towards the establishment of a Rural Clinical School under the Rural Health and Medical Training program (RHMT)
- The funding will support the establishment of eight rural clinical school campuses across NSW and northern Victoria
Charles Sturt University will receive $14.8 million to deliver a Rural Clinical School (RCS) under the Australian Government’s Rural Health and Medical Training program (RHMT).
The funding was announced as part of the 2022 Australian Government Budget and will support clinical training placements in rural and remote locations as part of the Rural Clinical School Program. This will establish the School of Rural Medicine as a rural generalist program to meet the workforce demands in rural and remote communities.
The investment will be allocated under the RHMT program bringing Charles Sturt in line with other medical schools with Commonwealth Supported Places that receive RHMT funding for their rural clinical schools.
Charles Sturt Vice-Chancellor Professor Renèe Leon welcomed the $14.8m investment to establish a Rural Clinical School as another measure to address the regional health crisis.
“We are extremely grateful for the support from the Australian Government, especially Minister for Regional Health The Hon. David Gillespie and Minister for Veterans’ Affairs and Defence Personnel and Federal Member for Calare, The Hon. Andrew Gee, who have worked so hard on our behalf,” Professor Leon said.
The Rural Clinical School will establish a network of campuses located in the Central West, Central Tablelands, Riverina, Murrumbidgee, Mallee, Murray, Hastings Macleay, and the Northern Rivers.
“The funding will be used to ensure regional and rural students have the opportunity to train in their region of origin or a region where they intend to work in the long-term,” Professor Leon said.
“The benefits of this ‘grow your own doctors’ philosophy is supported by research that shows that doctors who train in regional and rural Australia are more likely to practise there.”
Minister Gee said there were few things that were more important to regional communities than quality healthcare.
“It’s vital to our future and I’m delighted this Government has committed even more funding to grow our region’s health workforce and improve health services in the area through the Charles Sturt Rural Clinical School,” Minister Gee said.
“It means more students can study in medical fields, without having to pack up and move to the city. We want local students, studying locally, and growing our local pool of talented health professionals.
“I fought for years to make Charles Sturt Medical School a reality, so I’m thrilled the Federal Government is supporting the continued growth of the school and the wider country health workforce.”
The RCS program will set up eight campuses in regional NSW and northern Victoria with a focus on smaller communities with district hospitals but will also be linked to larger base hospitals in that region.
“Our students of the Doctor of Medicine course will complete their first two years of the course in Orange and then complete the remaining three years at a rural clinical school campus,” Professor Leon said.
The School of Rural Medicine has a focus on rural generalism and is unique in its model, whereby students can undertake their clinical training within a single region, allowing them to form connections within rural communities, supporting the retention of graduates and staffing.