News Parliament


The current system of training doctors is failing the communities of western New South Wales and it is failing country communities across Australia. Charles Sturt University has a plan to do something about it by training doctors in the country for future practice in the country through the Murray Darling Medical School. The existing system is simply not delivering the results that our country communities need. The argument that there is an oversupply of doctors is met with ridicule across rural Australia. Unfortunately, the older universities are treating the current training system as a closed shop. We do not criticise the efforts of the established universities and their clinical training programs in rural areas, but less than 10 per cent of Australian medical graduates trained at the urban universities choose to work in rural areas. The cold, hard fact is that their efforts, well intentioned though they may be, are simply not meeting the needs of country Australia. The established universities and their medical deans know it, and they want to continue the closed shop. I have got their latest correspondence, but what the so-called Group of Eight universities need to understand is that the push for the Murray Darling Medical School is community driven. It has the full support of the communities of central western New South Wales. We are not backing down and we are not going away. One hundred and eighty training places out of 3,100 is all we are seeking. The closed shop must end.