16 February 2007
New doctors on the way for Western Sydney
NSW Premier Morris Iemma today officially opened the Macarthur Clinical School at Campbelltown Hospital - to mark the start of a new "home grown" doctor training program for Sydney's west.
"Initiatives like this are at the very heart of our plans to provide new and improved services for working families," Mr Iemma said.
"This will deliver a big boost to health services across western Sydney, because we need to train more "home grown" GPs and specialists to work in our public hospitals, health services and general practices."
Mr Iemma said the Macarthur Clinical School - a partnership between the University of Western Sydney and Sydney South West Area Health Service - will start teaching its first intake of approximately 100 students this month.
"The Clinical School is already acting as a magnet by attracting doctors with some of the finest reputations in Australia to teach here," Mr Iemma said.
"The first intake of around 100 students will include approximately half local residents from greater western Sydney."
"The new school will deliver high quality 'home-grown' doctors, who can live, train, and work alongside their teachers throughout public hospitals in Sydney's west, health services and general practices.
"This is welcome news for our young people wanting to pursue a career in medicine." Mr Iemma said.
Mr Iemma said teaching will take place in health and community settings across Greater Western Sydney, including the Macarthur Clinical School at Campbelltown Hospital and at Liverpool TAFE, close to Liverpool Hospital.
The NSW Government has supported this program by:
- Matching in kind funding of $18 million towards the establishment of the medical school. This includes the use of buildings at Liverpool TAFE prior to the construction of Liverpool Hospital Stage 2;
- Approving the $390 million Stage 2 redevelopment of Liverpool Hospital, which will accommodate students;
- Supporting the University's bid for extra Commonwealth supported and funded medical school places,; and
- Providing $1 million in funding as part of the Sydney South West Clinical Services Plan for the establishment of academic posts in obstetrics-gynaecology, internal medicine, and mental health.
Minister for Health John Hatzistergos said Campbelltown Hospital had transformed itself over the past six years through the Macarthur Strategy into a hospital well deserving of its status as a Teaching Hospital of the University of Western Sydney.
The NSW Government invested more than $133.7 million dollars in Macarthur Strategy for the redevelopment of Camden and Campbelltown hospitals - with the aim of ensuring a high quality of healthcare now and for the future.
"The school will also allow expansion of medical research in the region by drawing professors and leading medical researchers to the emerging biomedical hub at Campbelltown."
The Macarthur Clinical School comprises:
- A Clinical Skills Laboratory
- Tutorial rooms including patient examination couches and one-way viewing glass for observation
- A state of the art student computer centre, Administration and office space
First year students will attend the Clinical School once a week for tutorials and hands-on teaching to help them develop their skills, such as how to interact with patients in ward situations, how to conduct physical examinations and take patient histories, and how to use medical equipment.
UWS Vice-Chancellor, Professor Janice Reid, said the UWS medical program is a first-class degree that draws on the best curriculum and teaching methods and will be taught by some of Australia's leading academics and medical professionals.
"This year is a watershed for UWS, as we welcome our first 100 medical students - half of whom are proud western Sydney locals - to their five year degree," Professor Reid said.
"Our training program also has a focus on the specific health issues facing the people in greater western Sydney.
"This ensures our graduates will be highly-skilled, empathetic doctors who will have a particular understanding of the health challenges facing underserved and disadvantaged areas."
Together with the Macarthur Clinical School, first-year teaching will be conducted at a site in Liverpool, while the $52 million teaching and research building at UWS Campbelltown Campus is completed.
For a range of health information, go online to www.health.nsw.gov.au