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Budget 2004: Additional medical places for James Cook University.

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Joint Media Release The Hon Dr Bendan Nelson MP Minister For Education, Science and Training

The Hon Tony Abbott MHR Minister for Health and Ageing

11 May 2004 Budget 2004-2005


The Australian Government will provide an additional 12 medical school intake places a year at James Cook University from 2005, at a cost of $2.2 million over the first 4 years. Students taking up one of these places will be subject to a bonding arrangement that will require them to work for six years in a district of workforce shortage.

These places will provide James Cook University with a permanent increase in medical student numbers to help meet the needs of Queensland regional and rural communities.

Queensland has a fast growing population with significant areas of workforce shortage. The need for more doctors in rural and remote and some outer-metropolitan areas of Australia is widely recognised, and many communities have identified having a local doctor as high on their list of health priorities.

“Doctors are needed in North Queensland, and there are particularly pressing rural issues, with small populations spread over large geographical areas,” said Mr Abbott.

“In addition there are many small isolated communities and areas with a high concentration of Aboriginal people.”

“The James Cook University medical school, situated in Townsville, Queensland, is well placed to train medical students to meet the needs of these areas,” said Dr Nelson.

“This is an excellent opportunity for students, who will be able to contribute their vital skills to the Townsville and surrounding areas.”

These additional places for James Cook University add to the 234 new medical places each year that the Australian Government announced last year, at a cost of $42 million over four years.

Media Contacts: Dr Nelson’s Office: Ross Hampton 0419 484 095 Mr Abbott’s Office: Kate Jordan 0417 425 227 Dept of Education, Science & Training: Virginia Cook 0412 971 323 Department of Health and Ageing: Brett Lennon 6289 7404