Shepparton community should lead push for medical school
27 September 2017
Deputy Leader of The Nationals and Shadow Minister for Training, Skills and Apprenticeships Steph Ryan has urged the Shepparton community to take the lead on establishing a new medical school in regional Victoria and New South Wales.
Speaking at La Trobe University's launch of a new Bachelor of Agribusiness in Shepparton last night, Ms Ryan called on the Victorian and Federal governments to back La Trobe and Charles Sturt universities’ proposed school.
"Evidence shows that when people are educated in regional areas they are more likely to continue to live in regional communities,” Ms Ryan said.
"La Trobe and Charles Sturt universities have been pushing for years to get approval to offer medicine at three regional campuses – one in Victoria and two in NSW.
"If it is approved by the Federal Government it would mean up to 60 students a year can undertake their entire undergraduate degree at a campus in regional Victoria.
"I believe Shepparton is an ideal site and La Trobe has indicated to me they would be open to developing a campus at Shepparton if the Federal Government supported the plan.”
Ms Ryan said The Nationals Federal Member for Murray Damian Drum has been working to advance an end-to-end undergraduate medical school.
La Trobe's proposal will give students from rural and regional areas priority for places and would put Shepparton at the heart of an estimated $2 billion economic boost to the Murray Darling region to 2050.
Ms Ryan said the proposal hinged on the Federal Government reallocating Commonwealth Supported Places for medicine from city-based universities to La Trobe Uni.
"This proposed medical school would aim to address the shortage of doctors in regional Australia by training young people who want to live and work in country areas,” Ms Ryan said.
"A full undergraduate medical school in Shepparton would put our region on the map as a destination for higher education.
"La Trobe Uni’s course could work complimentary to the University of Melbourne's rural clinical school, which bases some medicine students in Shepparton in the third year of their degree."