The Australian Government has today formalised its commitment to provide 50 Commonwealth Supported Places for local medical students at the Sunshine Coast University Hospital from 2019.
This provides a pathway for local residents to study on the Sunshine Coast, stay where they want and then practice locally in the community, providing vital GP and other medical services.
Health Minister Greg Hunt said the full domestic allocation for local students at the medical school, starting in 2019, was only possible through the advocacy and strong support from local members Andrew Wallace and Ted O’Brien.
“This is a vitally important community project. Andrew and Ted created the vision and worked with stakeholders, fought hard and relentlessly advocated the model which has been delivered in full,” Minister Hunt said.
“Today the Coalition Government has formalised its commitment which will provide positive health outcomes for the residents of the Sunshine Coast.”
Federal Member for Fisher Andrew Wallace said “My ultimate goal is to make Fisher the place of choice for Education, Employment and Retirement. Delivering 50 Commonwealth Supported Medical Places at the Sunshine Coast University Hospital is ticking all three of these boxes.
“Ted O’Brien and I are steadfast in our commitment to delivering the best outcomes for this region. Under our watch, the Sunshine Coast will receive the infrastructure and services it deserves,” Mr Wallace said.
Federal Member for Fairfax Ted O’Brien said “Being able to study medicine on the Sunshine Coast is not only fantastic for our local school leavers but even better for the broader community.
“Research shows that over the course of a medical degree, students who can stay at home with their parents save around $100,000 in living expenses, and we also know that graduating doctors are more likely to live and work in the region where they studied which means more doctors for the Sunshine Coast, hinterland and surrounds,” Mr O’Brien said.
Assistant Health Minister David Gillespie said universities have an important role producing Australia’s future health workforce and continued collaboration is integral to ensure a better distribution to the regions.
“We know how important it is for medical students to have the opportunity to study outside of our major capital cities,” Minister Gillespie said.
“I want to thank Griffith University for their support and commitment to train the next generation of GPs and medical specialists on the Sunshine Coast.”
“Quality training experiences as medical students can help young doctors make the decision to practise locally which is of enormous benefit to a regional community.”
Griffith University Deputy Vice Chancellor (Engagement) Professor Martin Betts said “Today’s formalisation will allow Griffith to commit to a 25-year sustainable partnership with Queensland Health, University of the Sunshine Coast, and TAFE Queensland to train the next generation of doctors for the Sunshine Coast.
“The fact that the Sunshine Coast University Hospital is a medical teaching hospital also means that there is the opportunity for important health and medical research on the Sunshine Coast,” Professor Betts said.