EXISTING Orange medical services boosted Charles Sturt University’s (CSU) case for a medical school during a recent presentation to the Senate committee the deputy chair says.
CSU has outlined its argument for a medical school to the committee that is assessing health services.
Senate Community Affairs References Committee deputy chair Claire Moore said Orange is already a regional hub for medical services and training.
“They’ve already got a health hub there in Orange for the whole region, ” she said.
Queensland Senator Ms Moore said the CSU case is similar to James Cook University in Townsville, which successfully lobbied for its own medical school.
“They keep very close monitoring on where their graduates go and many of them stay in the region.” she said.
Senator Moore said the Townsville case shows that training medical students in a regional area can boost overall regional doctor numbers.
Lack of student housing due to mining contractors in Orange was one issue that arose in CSU’s application, however Senator Moore said this was the case in many of the rural applications to the senate.
“Every hearing we’ve had housing and accommodation has come up,” she said.
CSU medical consultant retired professor John Dwyer presented the case to the Senate committee and said current policies are not attracting more Australian trained doctors to the bush.
“Only 3 per cent of Australian trained doctors are pursuing careers in regional areas,” he said.
Professor Dwyer said Australia will be around short 2500 general practitioners by the year 2020 and a CSU medical school will help address shortages.
He said CSU medical students will be taught a number of skills including pregnancy care and birth, anaesthetics, minor surgery and to set simple fractures.