- Tuesday 03 January 2017
The Sunshine Coast University Hospital could be the only tertiary teaching hospital in Australia without a medical school unless the Federal Government urgently allocates 15 additional student places.
Sunshine Coast Mayor Mark Jamieson today (Jan3) launched #OperationMedSchool, urging the Federal Government to allocate the remaining required medical student places, saying the issue had remained unresolved for more than three years.
He has called on Sunshine Coast residents and surrounding communities to support the campaign by writing to the Prime Minister and Federal Government.
“Health is at the heart of strong communities and here on our Sunshine Coast we are looking forward to the April opening of the State Government’s $1.87 billion tertiary teaching hospital at Kawana,” Mayor Jamieson said.
“However the way it is shaping up, our Sunshine Coast University Hospital will be the only tertiary teaching hospital in Australia without a medical school.
“That’s because the Federal Government has not allocated the additional 15 medical student places needed.
“Our community was promised a tertiary teaching hospital. We deserve nothing less and will accept nothing less.
“It is now time for the Commonwealth to step up and fulfil its role and it needs to do so quickly because it will still take another 18 months to attend to the necessary accreditations.”
Mayor Jamieson said that if the matter had been addressed three years ago the Sunshine Coast University Hospital would have its medical school in place earlier than 2019.
"I am aware that our region’s two Federal representatives, Ted O’Brien and Andrew Wallace, have been working hard to bring this matter to the attention of the relevant Federal Ministers and seek to have it resolved,” he said.
“I am calling on our community to show its support for these endeavours, to demonstrate to the Federal Government the importance our region places on achieving a fully functional tertiary teaching hospital.
“The new hospital will make an immense difference to health care on the Sunshine Coast and surrounding regional areas.
“Each year, around 10,000 Sunshine Coast residents are admitted for inpatient care in Brisbane hospitals.
“They will be able to receive this care locally when Sunshine Coast University Hospital is fully commissioned.
“We need a world class medical school on the Sunshine Coast.
“The absence of this critical component will be detrimental to the hospital’s reputation and, therefore, its ability to recruit the highest calibre staff to deliver its vital services.
“Our concern and frustration that this matter remains unresolved is further exacerbated when you consider the significant demand for medical staff the new hospital will generate now and into the future.
“It will open with 450 beds of its built capacity of 738 beds, which is expected to be fully utilised by 2021.”
Mayor Jamieson said this major development would deliver more than a critical health care service.
“Such a large and ongoing operation will also provide economic benefits,” he said.
“And it doesn’t stop there. Our secondary school students will also have the opportunity to complete an undergraduate degree at the University of the Sunshine Coast before gaining entry to the medical degree delivered through the Sunshine Coast University Hospital.
“Our children can live and study for their medical degree here on the Sunshine Coast and enjoy the benefits that come with that.”
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