A plan to attract more doctors to regional areas is one step closer with the demolition of student accommodation at Charles Sturt University.
Crews got to work tearing down an old campus residence to make way for the CSU medical facility, set to be complete by October, 2020.
The $22 million construction project will provide a base for 37 medical students starting in 2021, the majority of who will come from rural areas.
Charles Sturt University's, Interim Head of School of Rural Medicine, Amanda Barnard said the joint initiative with Western Sydney University had been a long time coming for Orange.
Professor Barnard said with 80 per cent of their first intake required to be rural students, she hoped some would be from the local area.
"The factors which attract doctors to areas like Orange are rural backgrounds and having done some of their training in a rural setting," she said.
Professor Barnard said CSU would work closely with the Western NSW Local Health District to create a pathway for students to complete their training locally, in a bid to get them qualified in the region.
"Because it's all year levels we can start to think about how we make this a distinctively rural school," she said.
VIDEO: Construction was under way this week ...
"We're thinking about what health means to rural communities and how doctors contribute to that in a meaningful way.
"It's not an imitation of what they do in a big city."
CSU Orange was provided with $22 million of funding for the facility in July, 2018.
The funding will pay for capital works including construction of a new academic hub, with accommodation, an Indigenous Student Centre, conference rooms and health research facilities.
VIDEO: Crews got to work knocking down the student residence ...
Existing campus buildings will also be refurbished and extended to create modern learning spaces for medicine and health sciences including informal student learning spaces, upgrades to the Learning Commons, expansion of anatomy facilities and an ultrasound room.
A new Clinical Education Learning Centre will also be developed in parallel at Bloomfield.
Professor Barnard said the medical training facility would create a health service precinct on the campus, with physio, dentistry and pharmacy students all in close proximity.
"It's an opportunity to get the students working together right from the very beginning which is what rural health services have to do," she said.
"They depend on one another."
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