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The proposed new medical school by Charles Sturt and La Trobe universities must not go ahead
Monday 2 May 2016
The Australian Medical Association (Victoria) strongly opposes moves by Charles Sturt and La Trobe universities to establish another medical school, as there are not enough junior doctor training positions to meet the current cohort. More medical students will lead to more unemployed junior doctors in Australia.
Over the last 8 years, the number of university students studying medicine has increased by 42%.
• In 2007, there were 11,949 medical students in Australia
• In 2015, there were 16,959 medical students in Australia1
Hospitals are struggling to train these junior doctors: there are not enough jobs or enough senior doctors to effectively train the rising numbers. A new medical school will only increase this pressure.
“Junior doctors are graduating with significant uncertainty as to whether they will be able to get a job in Victoria or interstate, and the reality of their huge CSP/HECS debt sinks in. With degrees costing $270,0002 the Federal Government must undertake medical workforce planning before granting universities permission to increase medical student numbers,” Dr Tony Bartone, President of AMA Victoria, said.
“We need more training places for the current cohort of medical students and junior doctors. A medical school in rural Victoria will not solve the maldistribution of the medical workforce across the country, as there are far more medical training positions at metropolitan public hospitals than rural/regional hospitals,” Dr Bartone said.
Rural/regional hospitals must be supported by the State Government to employ (and train) medical interns, residents and registrars. The specialist medical colleges must work with the Government and rural hospitals to ensure appropriate specialist training can be undertaken in rural/regional areas.
“Funding a new medical school, without the workforce planning evidence, is bad policy. Funding should be directed towards more medical training positions across the state,” Dr Bartone said.
MEDIA CONTACT - Felicity Ryan 0437 450 506
1 Medical Deans Australia and New Zealand, medical student statistics
2 University of Melbourne, Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences