Third medical school to be reassessed

David Clark
David Clark

The prospect of a third medical school appears somewhat remote under the Labour Government, but is not being ruled out.

Health minister-designate David Clark said he was likely to put the process on hold while he reassessed the concept.

''I've always thought that the proof is really on those arguing for a third med school, but I'm open to hearing the case.''

He said Labour would increase postgraduate placements in general practice, a move that did not require a new medical school, but would achieve some of the stated aims.

The University of Waikato has been pushing for a third medical school.

Before the election, the National Government promised to run a competitive tender for a new rural health school to train 60 doctors a year.

The Universities of Otago and of Auckland said they would make a joint bid for the school.

Waikato did not have an existing medical school, so if it had won, it would effectively be the country's third medical school.

Otago Medical School dean Prof Peter Crampton was reluctant to comment, but said he did not know if the project was a priority for the new Government.

Prof Crampton felt positive about the change of government.

''I think that [regional focus] can bring some positive outcomes for health workforce development.''

eileen.goodwin@odt.co.nz

 

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