Media Release: New medical school not a healthy option for Rural Queensland
Friday 9 March
New medical school not a healthy option for Rural Queensland
Today Central Queensland University announced its intention to open a new medical school.
The Australian Medical Students Association Rural Health (AMSA RH) Committee calls for the Queensland and Federal governments to reject any new medical school proposals, on the basis that graduate numbers already exceed training places and the proposed location will duplicate existing federally funded Rural Clinical Schools.
Co-Chair of AMSA RH Nic Batten said “Along with Charles Sturt, La Trobe, and Macquarie, yet another university is selfishly ignoring the message that Australia is currently producing too many medical students, and the evidence that an increase in student numbers is not translating to more rural doctors”.
“The University of Queensland Rural Clinical School is already based in the locations proposed by CQU. UQ medical students train within the Central Qld Health Service at Rockhampton, within the Wide Bay Health Service at Bundaberg and Hervey Bay, and within the Darling Downs Health Service at Toowoomba. What will happen to these students and their opportunities for rural training if the new medical school is allowed to proceed?”
“Many Queensland students, of both rural and urban background, want to become rural doctors, but the bottlenecks in training are hampering their ability to continue their careers in the country,” said Ms Batten.
AMSA President Alex Farrell said “CQU is joining a long line of universities pushing for unnecessary medical degree programs. This takes place in a training climate which is already flooded with graduates, whilst Charles Sturt and La Trobe Universities continue to push for a Murray Darling Medical School in NSW and Victoria.
“Medical school graduates have more than doubled in the past ten years. This has not been met with an appropriate increase in the number of intern places, nor in speciality-training positions.
“It is estimated over 1000 graduates will miss out on training positions by 2030. Any new medical school will only exacerbate this oversupply without providing more doctors for country areas,” said Ms Farrell.
“The duplication of already existing rural clinical school infrastructure is a waste of money that will not increase the supply of fully-trained doctors for rural and remote communities,” said Ms Batten.
“Rural areas are undersupplied by doctors, but if we’re serious about creating more rural doctors we need to focus on real solutions. Our trainee doctors need rural pathways to continue their training in the bush, so that they can stay in the bush. To create rural doctors, we need the opportunity for more rurally-based Specialty training, and a concrete commitment from federal and state governments for the National Rural Generalist Pathway,” said Ms Batten
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Published: 09 Mar 2018