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Monday, 9 December 2013
Page: 2073

Rural Clinical Schools

Debate resumed on the motion:

That this House:

(1) celebrates the success of Rural Clinical Schools (RCS) around Australia, commenced in 1999 by the then Minister for Health, the Hon. Dr Michael Wooldridge MP, and continued by his successor, the Hon. Tony Abbott MP;

(2) notes that:

(a) RCS were designed to overcome the maldistribution of all doctors including general practitioners across Australia, which left country regions short of general practitioners and other specialty doctors;

(b) students undertaking training in rural locations have academic results that are equal to or better than their metropolitan counterparts;

(c) published data from public universities show high rates of RCS graduates working in, or intending to work in rural areas; and

(d) the information gathered through an independent project tracking all Australian and New Zealand medical students—Medical Schools Outcomes Database—demonstrates that long term placements in a rural setting through RCS have a significant impact on the vocational choice and intention to practice in a rural or remote setting as well as future career specialty focus; and

(3) calls on the Government to:

(a) continue its support for these excellent initiatives; and

(b) examine opportunities to increase intern and postgraduate training places in rural locations to enhance the future of specialty medical service delivery with a focus on general practitioners in rural and regional Australia.