Central Queensland University on 9 March announced its intention to open a new medical school.
However the Australian Medical Students Association Rural Health Committee has called on the federal and Queensland governments to reject any new medical school proposals, on the basis that graduate numbers already exceed training places and the proposed location will duplicate existing federally-funded rural clinical schools.
“Along with Charles Sturt, La Trobe, and Macquarie, yet another university is selfishly ignoring the message that Australia is currently producing too many medical students, and the evidence that an increase in student numbers is not translating to more rural doctors,” the co-chair of AMSARH, Ms Nic Batten, said:
Medical student numbers have more than doubled in the past ten years, but that has not been matched by an increase in the number of intern places, nor in speciality-training positions.
It is estimated by the AMSARHC that as many as 1,000 graduates in medicine will miss out on training positions by 2030 and that any new CQU or other medical school will only exacerbate that oversupply without providing more medical practitioners for country areas.