Guess who's getting a new med school (hint: it's not us)

WAIT: Sunshine Coast University Hospital waits for a med school.
WAIT: Sunshine Coast University Hospital waits for a med school.

AS THE Sunshine Coast fights for a medical school at the new $1.8 billion Sunshine Coast University Hospital Western Australia's Curtin University prepares to open its new Federal Government-backed medical school.

Jousting between the State and Federal Government over future specialist training places and how to reallocate medical school placements to fill the Coast's required quota has cast clouds over whether the groundbreaking new facility will have a fully-functioning medical school.

New medical school placements won't be created due to a predicted oversupply of doctors in Australia, meaning the 15 places the Coast needs will have to be sourced from other universities.

The State Government has committed about $1.5 million to fund half of the 15 medical school placements needed to ensure Griffith University's proposal is economically viable, but the Federal Government requires a State Government commitment to provide additional specialist training places before considering the proposal further.

Meanwhile in Western Australia, Curtin University is preparing for its new medical school to open next year, after former Prime Minister Tony Abbott committed $20 million in Federal funding for the new, urban medical school in May last year.

Mr Abbott pledged $20 million per year once the new medical school - WA's third - is fully operational in 2022, the ABC reported last year, with all capital funding to be provided by Curtin University and the WA Government.

University of the Sunshine Coast Vice-Chancellor Professor Greg Hill last week said failure to deliver a fully-fledged medical school would cost families tens of thousands of dollars per year if students had to move away for the initial stages of their medical school studies.

Scott Sawyer

Topics:  federal government health politics state government sunshine coast sunshine coast university hospital university of the sunshine coast

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