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Bonded medical school places filled in NSW.



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Sandy Macdonald The Nationals Senator for NSW www.sandymacdonald.com.au 31 March 2004

Bonded medical school places filled in NSW

All 64 bonded medical school places in NSW provided under the Coalition Government’s Medicare Plus package have been filled.

This revolutionary initiative ‘bonds’ doctors to practice in areas of shortage for six years after they graduate, NSW Senator Sandy Macdonald said today.

“An additional $42 million has been committed to provide these bonded medical school places which will assist regions such as New England to gain extra doctors,” Senator Macdonald said.

After graduating, the bonded students will work in areas of workforce shortage, which include regional, rural and remote areas, for at least six years.

“Eleven places have been filled at the University of Newcastle, which then sends many of its medical students to the University Department of Rural Health, based at the Tamworth Base Hospital,” Senator Macdonald said.

“Students then complete professional practice placements in a range of sites including Tamworth, Armidale, Moree and Inverell.”

“The University of New England and New England Area Health are also key partners in the UDRH, which was an initiative of the Australian Government.”

“Regional areas are finding it increasingly difficult to attract and retain doctors and these students will help in adding to the medical workforce of New England and reversing this workforce gap.”

Nationally, 234 additional medical places have been offered to students who would not have otherwise obtained entry to medicine. The scheme will cost $42 million over four years.

In NSW, the places were allocated to; University of NSW (26 places); the University of Sydney (27); University of Newcastle (11).

Media Contact: Rachel Kingsford Smith 6277 3705 / 0427 570 506