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AUSTRALIAN MEDICAL ASSOCIATION (WA)
The recent announcement on a new medical school at Curtin University is the worst decision seen in Western Australian health in decades, the AMA (WA) said.
“This is sneaky and secretive and will do nothing to provide additional GPs in rural areas or indeed Western Australia,” AMA (WA) President Dr Michael Gannon said.
“This announcement will reduce the quality of training and will put patient care at risk.
“Today’s statement, which provides no worthwhile detail, is bad for patient care, bad for education and bad for WA’s finances.
“Promises on getting more doctors into rural areas will not be met by this decision. But Messrs Barnett and Abbott would have retired by the time this irresponsible decision will have the worst impact when graduates are told there are no training places for them and no jobs.
“If both leaders are interested in getting more doctors into rural areas, they should find money to boost the already established Rural Clinical School of WA.
“The Federal Government has been duplicitous about this issue from the very start.
“We have been told by both governments this week that the cupboard is bare and yet they seem to have found many millions of dollars needed for a new medical school.
“This is about the Premier not thinking about an issue past a headline and Curtin University wanting an ego boost.”
“Medical student numbers are already at an all-time high in WA and this announcement will put incredible pressure on the health system which will almost certainly impact negatively on patient care across the board,” Dr Gannon said.
This year alone, there will be 337 students graduating from medical schools in WA, a figure expected to rise in coming years.