La Trobe University has welcomed the call by Deputy Leader of the Nationals, Stephanie Ryan, for Shepparton to take the lead on the establishment of a new Murray Darling Medical School.
The State MP for Euroa, who is also the Shadow Minister for Training, Skills and Apprenticeships, has called on the Victorian and Federal governments to back La Trobe and Charles Sturt universities on the proposed school.
La Trobe Acting Vice Chancellor Professor Tony McGrew said regional communities like Shepparton understood the importance of the MDMS.
“There is not a shortage of doctors in Australia, there is a shortage of doctors in regional and rural areas,” Professor McGrew said.
“The MDMS will address this chronic shortage in regional and rural areas by training local students to be local doctors.”
Professor McGrew said La Trobe would be proud to work with the Federal Government to bring the MDMS to Shepparton.
“Bringing a high prestige course like medicine to Shepparton underscores our continuing commitment to regionally delivered higher education at a time when other universities are seeking to withdraw from the regions.
“We know from our regional training programs in dentistry, pharmacy, teaching, nursing and allied health, for example, that students who train at our regional campuses are much more likely to stay and work in regional communities than those who study in metropolitan universities.
“Short term regional exposure programs for metro students are not delivering the results we need. An immersive full-time medical program based in Shepparton and designed for regional and rural health needs will deliver more doctors where they are needed.”
La Trobe estimates that a fully operational MDMS will deliver 90 new doctors in regional and rural Australia each year.
A recent economic impact report by respected independent and leading professor advisory firm PPB Advisory found that:
A significantly higher proportion of doctors (more than 50 per cent) trained in the Murray Darling region are expected to reside and work in the region post-graduation.
MDMS would be potentially three times more cost efficient (in term of Commonwealth support place expenditure) than metropolitan universities in training doctors who will work in regional or rural Australia.
A range of regional social and economic impacts can be expected, including improved regional health and wellbeing outcomes and economic impact across the Murray Darling region of $2 billion to 2050.
Source: La Trobe