Murray Darling Medical School 

Update at July 2019

As announced by the Federal Government in its’ May 2018 Budget, the Riverina will be a part of the government’s new ‘Murray-Darling Medical Schools Network’ to support end-to-end training for rural students to study medicine in the regions. Wagga Wagga will be sharing in $95.4 million of funding to create teaching sites in NSW and Victoria.

The University of New South Wales and the Department of Health have now signed the funding agreement for the Wagga Wagga Medical School. This agreement puts in place the formal pathway to deliver this money once the final design, construction and other details are confirmed.

In addition to the University of NSW (Wagga Wagga), the Murray-Darling Medical Schools Network includes University of Sydney (Dubbo), Charles Sturt University / Western Sydney University (Orange), Monash University (Bendigo, Mildura); and University of Melbourne / La Trobe University (Shepparton, Bendigo, Wodonga).

The network will be complemented by work already under way by the National Rural Health Commissioner to develop the National Rural Generalist Pathway to channel future specialists into the regions.

Background

The proposed MDMS will address the current skill shortages experienced within regional NSW’s health sector. Charles Sturt University and La Trobe University have partnered to seek government funding for development of new medical schools at Orange, Bendigo and Wagga Wagga. The medical schools will provide regional students with an opportunity to study medicine without the requirement to leave the regions for a major city, ultimately increasing the number of doctors located throughout rural NSW. 

The School will provide students with a high quality, nationally accredited medical curriculum based on successful models currently being delivered in Australia and overseas. These methods have been proven to significantly increase the number of graduates who work in rural practice. The current system contributes to the undersupply of rural doctors by delivering the majority of training in capital cities and large metropolitan hospitals, requiring only short stints of service in rural and regional areas. 


Key Stakeholders: 

CSU and La Trobe Universities 
NSW Government 
Federal Government 
Committee 4 Wagga 

Recommendation: 

Encourage the State and Federal Government to consider funding support for the project.