Less than a week since Murray Darling Medical Schools Network was announced in the Federal budget, the Charles Sturt University (CSU) staff who will be at the course’s coalface have started discussions with the politicians who helped make it a reality.
Member for Calare Andrew Gee and Minister for Regional Health Bridget McKenzie were at CSU’s Bathurst campus on Monday, meeting with CSU vice chancellor Professor Andrew Vann and Western Sydney University rural health director Professor Ross Wilson.
The physical school will be located in Orange next to CSU’s dental school, with the bulk of the clinical placements to be undertaken in Orange and Bathurst.
CSU will collaborate with Western Sydney University to produce the program for the new medical school.
Professor Vann said the new medical school will provide an opportunity for country students to remain in rural areas.
“This is a win for Orange, Bathurst and our communities across regional NSW,” he said.
“Not only will local students be able to stay in the community they live in to complete their medical training, they will also have the chance to access long-term training opportunities across the newly-created Murray Darling Basin Medical Network.
“When people study in a regional area they’re more inclined to stay in a regional area so we want to ensure local kids can become local doctors.
Mr Gee said the new medical school is exciting news for the region.
“One of the wonderful things about this project is students from this area and country NSW can, for the first time, be able to choose any faculty they want – law, engineering, paramedics, nursing and now medicine,” he said.
“They can study and learn their profession right here in the Central West.
“This is tremendous when you consider the growth of Charles Sturt University in the past 10 years. It’s just a world of difference.
“The real beneficiary is the country students and the country patients.”