Local, Independant and Effective

3 min constituent statement - Indi and Vic medical students need support

Posted September 24, 2014


CATHY McGOWAN (Indi) (09:42):  Today I would like to talk about a unique service that is offered in Albury-Wodonga. It is a cross-border education of doctors. Operating under the auspices Albury Wodonga Health, the University of New South Wales teaches third-, fourth- and fifth-year doctors at a rural clinical service.

It is a wonderful service that has been operating since 2000 and that supports a catchment of 250,000 people. It was established 14 years ago with four students and now looks after 45 students in 2014. It is an award-winning service with doctors such as Dr Peter Vine, who won Teacher of the Year for the University of New South Wales in 2013, and Dr Ed Darby, who won the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists Meritorious Service award.

I would also like to acknowledge that this service is hugely supported by all the medical fraternity—and maternity, I think—in Albury-Wodonga. This service is unique in that it is the only cross-border medical service in Australia.

So it works with the New South Wales and the Victorian government health services and with the Commonwealth government. It is an extraordinarily important initiative in cross-border service delivery for our community.

However, there is one particular issue that I would like to bring to the attention of this parliament today. This university operates under New South Wales arrangements within the cross-border set-up. Once students graduate they can get jobs all around Australia, but they like to stay locally because they have been trained in rural and regional health.

However, if you are a Victorian and you study at this health service under New South Wales, you are not recognised for employment within the Victorian health service. In fact, Victoria selects Victorian graduates first, then international graduates and then graduates from any other state. This means that Victorians who go to study in Albury cannot get a job within the Victorian system, or find it extraordinarily difficult to do so.

Today I call on the Minister for Health to please investigate this and see what he can do to help our community provide better services and end the discrimination that Victorians experience when they go to study in New South Wales.

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