Disappointment and optimism for MDMS

The Vice-Chancellors of Charles Sturt (CSU) and La Trobe (LTU) universities are confident the Federal Government will look favourably on their proposal to address the growing shortage of doctors in regional Australia through the Murray Darling Medical School (MDMS).

“We are disappointed that we have not had an announcement on the Murray Darling Medical School by the time of the 2017 Federal Budget,” said CSU Vice-Chancellor Professor Andrew Vann.

“However, we’re continuing to work with the Commonwealth to finalise the MDMS and we expect a positive outcome later this year.”

The Federal Departments of Health and Education and Training are currently reviewing the number and distribution of medical schools places and medical schools. The assessment is due to conclude by June 2017.

“We’re confident that this national review of the health workforce will show the merits of the Murray Darling Medical School in addressing the growing pressure on regional medical services caused by doctor shortages in regional Australia, especially Victoria and NSW,” said LTU Vice-Chancellor Professor John Dewar.

The MDMS, to be located in Bendigo, Wagga Wagga and Orange, will be based on the already successful model of training regional students for health professions based in rural or regional communities.

Earlier this year, an independent report by PPB Advisory showed that:

  • The Murray Darling Medical School would help solve doctor shortages in regional NSW and Victoria by providing around 90 doctors to the region each year once fully operating.
  • Compared to current metropolitan based approaches, the MDMS is likely to be more efficient and effective in increasing the number of rural and regional doctors.
  • The Murray Darling Medical School would potentially be three to five times more efficient in its use of Commonwealth Supported Places expenditure than metropolitan universities in training doctors who will work in regional or rural Australia.

Media Contact: Tim Mitchell - t.mitchell@latrobe.edu.au - 0437 457 780.