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Medical school for the university of Wollongong.



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Media Release

MEDICAL SCHOOL FOR THE UNIVERSITY OF WOLLONGONG

2 August, 2004 MIN 833/02

The Australian Government will provide $10 million over two years to establish a medical school at the University of Wollongong which will enhance and improve the teaching hospital capacity and the delivery of health and medical services in the Illawarra and rural New South Wales.

The University’s medical school has been structured to specifically meet the workforce needs of rural and regional Australia. The primary goal of the school is to address the shortage of general practitioners in regional areas.

The new medical school will be a community-based model involving local physicians in almost every aspect of the educational and clinical activities of the school.

Doctors graduating from the University of Wollongong medical school will be trained specifically to meet the general practice requirements of regional Australia. The focus of the new school accords with the Government’s commitment to the ongoing and important need for access to medical services in rural and regional Australia.

The capital funding for the University of Wollongong medical school will commence in 2005-06, with students planned to enrol from 2006, dependent on Australian Medical Council approval.

The University of Wollongong will be seeking to convert a portion of its 943 new higher education places that I announced in July 2004 into medical places for the new school. Distribution of these places was part of the national distribution of 25,000 fully funded places at a cost of $542 million and made possible through the $2.6 billion higher education reform package which was opposed by the Labor Party.

The new medical school opens not only opportunities for students in Wollongong and the Illawarra who wish to study medicine, but it will also enrich the local community by providing medical professionals who have grown up in the local area.

The University has been working on establishing a medical school for some time, investing a significant amount of its own resources into its development. The Australian Government $10 million contribution will enable the University to realise its vision.

Media contact:

Dr Nelson’s Office Ross Hampton 0419 484 095