UWS to open more clinical schools in NSW


Date: 12/08/2009

The University of Western Sydney will receive almost $10 million from the Federal Government to establish additional clinical schools at Bathurst and Lismore in regional NSW for UWS medical students.

The announcement made recently by the Federal Minister for Health and Ageing, The Hon. Nicola Roxon is in addition to $17.6 million already earmarked by the Federal Government for the UWS Blacktown Clinical School.

Professor Janice Reid, UWS Vice-Chancellor welcomes the continuing support for the School of Medicine from the Federal Government.

"The grants announced by the Federal Minister for Health and Ageing will greatly enhance the University's capacity to train a new generation of doctors for Western Sydney and rural NSW," says Professor Reid.

"The funding will provide opportunities for UWS medical students to experience working in major metropolitan hospitals and the unique challenges of providing medical care in regional and rural areas."

The new funding will allow the University to establish new training sites for UWS medical students in the Lismore and Bathurst regions and is part of a Federal Government initiative to expand the Rural Clinical Schools program.

The first students will have the opportunity to study from mid 2010, and will spend twelve months in these communities.

Foundation Dean of the UWS School of Medicine, Professor Neville Yeomans says rural clinical placements will have benefits for both students and the local community.

"UWS students will gain, first hand, an understanding of patterns of disease and the more holistic style of medical practice in regional areas. They will also gain an understanding of social issues and values commonly held by close knit and supportive communities," says Professor Yeomans.

"The clinical schools will provide more opportunities for local medical professionals to engage in education and research. The health services for local communities will also be further enhanced through the placement of medical students and the appointment of additional clinical supervisors and educators."

The investment in new teaching infrastructure, residential accommodation, staffing appointments and student support services will increase the sustainability of the health workforce in Lismore and Bathurst and bring economic benefits to these growing rural communities.

In Lismore, training for the University of Western Sydney will be coordinated through the innovative North Coast Medical Education Collaboration. This is a training partnership which supports medical placements for students from The University of Sydney, the University of Western Sydney and the University of Wollongong.
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***Background***

*Lismore
From mid-2010, fourteen students will be placed in Lismore and nearby communities for twelve months.

Associate Professor Sue Page, the Director of Education at the North Coast Medical Education Collaboration heads up a strong academic and support team that will be managing students in Lismore.

Key infrastructure development will be new student accommodation for 20 students, which will be used by UWS students and some students from other medical schools.

*Bathurst
From mid-2010, eight students will be placed at Bathurst for twelve months.

In Bathurst, Associate Professor Tim McCrossin has been appointed as Clinical Dean, with Dr Ian Elbourne and Dr Ursula King as Senior Lecturers to manage and support student placements.

Key infrastructure development will be:
-new student accommodation
-teaching and learning facilities

The presence of UWS students in Bathurst Hospital and with local General Practitioners will significantly boost the teaching role of the hospital. This also involves appointing hospital staff as conjoint academics. Teaching facilities e.g. computer/video-conferencing facilities as well as clinical skills equipment will also be purchased to support teaching and learning activities.

Students will also be placed with local General Practitioners who have for many years also hosted medical students from The University of Sydney.

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Contact:


Senior Media Officer


Paul Grocott
p.grocott@uws.edu.au
02 9678 7083, 0406 429 304