MDMS solves regional doctors shortage

A new and independent economic impact assessment provides a compelling case for the Murray Darling Medical School (MDMS).  The MDMS will solve chronic doctor shortages in regional Victoria and NSW.

The study by respected firm PPB Advisory was commissioned by Charles Sturt University and La Trobe University, who are urging the Federal Government to provide funding and medical training places so the MDMS can turn local kids into local doctors.

Charles Sturt University Vice-Chancellor Professor Andrew Vann said, “It is particularly pleasing this independent analysis establishes such a compelling case for the MDMS.  The MDMS will train local kids to become local doctors and we continue to urge the Federal Government to provide funding and the necessary medical training places.

“Key findings of this compelling report are:

  • The MDMS will 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 MDMS is potentially three to five times more efficient (in terms of Commonwealth Supported Places expenditure) than metropolitan universities in training doctors who will work in regional or rural Australia.
  • The MDMS will bring around $2 billion in additional benefits to the region through direct expenditures and secondary impacts producing jobs and growth.  Importantly, it will improve health outcomes”.

Under the MDMS, students from regional areas will be trained locally with a curriculum designed for doctors going into regional and rural practice. Course delivery will focus on the regional centres of Bendigo, Orange and Wagga Wagga, with students active in another 16 clinical training centres in regional towns throughout regional Victoria and NSW.

La Trobe Vice-Chancellor, Professor John Dewar said “this report proves the MDMS, based on the very successful James Cook University medical training model, will solve existing doctor shortages.  Currently, only 10% of doctors trained by city universities go on to practice in rural and regional Australia. Under the MDMS model, at least every second doctor would work in the bush.

“As universities experienced in delivering a regional health workforce, we know that where people study affects where they choose to live and work.  Rural students who undertake extended periods of training in a rural area are four times more likely to work in rural practice”.

Tim Mitchell
Director, Media and Communications
La Trobe University
Phone: 0437 457 780