Nationals back new rural medical school

1 JANUARY 2003

Charles Sturt University (CSU) has welcomed a Nationals 2013 Policy Platform commitment to support the establishment of a Murray Darling Medical School at CSU's campuses in Orange and Wagga Wagga, and La Trobe University's campus at Bendigo.

Charles Sturt University (CSU)  has welcomed a Nationals 2013 Policy Platform commitment to support the establishment of a Murray Darling Medical School at CSU's campuses in Orange and Wagga Wagga, and La Trobe University's campus at Bendigo.
 
The universities had called for the major parties to support the establishment of a new rural medical school for the Murray Darling as part of their election commitments, including $46 million in funding to expand existing medical and health sciences infrastructure at the three campuses.  

The funding would also be used to build new, and upgraded existing, medical training infrastructure in small rural and remote communities, ensuring graduates of the new school have practical experience in areas where doctors are most needed.

CSU Vice-Chancellor Professor Andrew Vann also welcomed the Nationals commitment to expanding rural medical training pathways.
 
“These rural training pathways are critical to our plan to train more rural students in rural areas through the Murray Darling Medical School,” he said.

“With these public commitments by the Nationals, the Murray Darling Medical School is now close to becoming a reality. That means we are now one step closer to solving rural doctor shortages in our communities.
  
“Rural and regional communities have around half the doctors compared to major cities, and suffer poorer health outcomes as a result.

“All the evidence shows that educating rural students at regional universities is the single most effective strategy for growing our rural medical workforce, yet we have the absurd situation where thousands of rural students are missing out on places in medical school every year.

“The Nationals have listened carefully to all the arguments, and have come up with the right solution for rural and regional Australians.  

“We look forward to working with the National Party, should they form the next government in coalition with the Liberal Party, to help them to deliver on their commitment to establish a new Murray Darling Medical School for rural and regional Australians.

Professor Vann said Charles Sturt University and La Trobe University were progressing well with the governance structures for the new school, and work has commenced on the rural entry criteria and medical curriculum.
 
“The Murray Darling Medical School will be ready to go as soon as the Government gives approval,” he said.

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