UP to 40 rural medical students can now access placements in Orange with additional accommodation opened on Friday.
Assistant Minister for Health Fiona Nash opened the 16 apartments, which will be used by University of Sydney School of Rural Health students during their year of placements.
Head of the School of Rural Health, Mark Arnold, said the schools in Orange and Dubbo had gone from a “small notional experiment” to a mature organisation.
“We know that there are disparities in health throughout Australia, there’s particularly disparity in the supply of medical workforce from the country to the city,” he said.
“One of the parameters that we actively look towards in the School of Rural Health is to encourage people to return and be retained in rural areas.
“Research we’ve had published in the last six months in the Medical Journal of Australia actually tested that fact - a one-year placement at the School of Rural Health was highly successful to encourage medical student to return as graduates and contribute to the community in rural areas.”
Students complete the first two years of their graduate medicine degree before staying in Orange or Dubbo during their third or fourth year.
Orange Health Service resident Dana Perrignon Roth first came to Orange in 2011 from Sydney when the accommodation was only demountables and never looked back.
“I couldn’t be happier,” he said.
“Our education thrived, I can’t say how good it was to be able to just call across the corridor when I needed help with a project.
“Almost half my year has come out to start their careers in a rural setting and the other half wish they had.”
The federal government provided $2.3 million to the University of Sydney to purchase the land and build the 16-bed facility.
The Dalton Street accommodation also features a separate student common room and guest accommodation for University of Sydney staff, as well as visiting nursing, law, veterinary science, physiotherapy, dentistry and teaching students.