Release type: Joint Media Release


Medical boost for Murray Darling Network


The Hon Dan Tehan MP
Minister for Education
The Hon Mark Coulton MP
Minister for Regional Services, Decentralisation and Local Government
Assistant Trade and Investment Minister
Member for Parkes
The Hon Andrew Gee MP
Minister for Decentralisation and Regional Education
Minister Assisting the Minister for Trade and Investment

The Central West of New South Wales is set to benefit with 37 medical student places to be funded by the Australian Government at Charles Sturt University’s new medical school in Orange.

Minister for Education Dan Tehan said it was important to ensure students and communities shared in the benefit that locally offered medical degrees would bring to the region.

“Regional Australia needs more doctors,” Mr Tehan said.

“Charles Sturt will be able to deliver a fully rural medical program that will allow students who grow up in country Australia to complete their medical degree at a rural university campus.

“This will also bring students from the cities to study and work in regional locations.”

The Orange medical school is one of five new rural medical programs that form the Murray-Darling Medical Schools Network, and are sharing in $74 million in funding to help attract and retain doctors who understand local issues and concerns.

With building activities underway at Orange, students will be able to take advantage of cutting-edge learning facilities as well as student accommodation.

“As most medical training currently happens in the cities, this will mean students in Orange and the Central West of NSW can train within their local area,” Mr Tehan said.

“These new rural medical schools ‘flip’ the current model of medical training and students can do most of their training in regional Australia.”

Minister for Regional Health Mark Coulton said regional Australian communities needed more doctors in the right place, at the right time.

“The Government is investing in the Murray-Darling Medical Schools Network to help attract and retain doctors in rural and regional Australia,” Minister Coulton said.

“We know greater exposure to rural training opportunities leads to more doctors and health professionals choosing rural careers.”

Minister for Regional Education and Federal Member for Calare Andrew Gee said he was excited to see Charles Sturt University’s new medical school open next year with 37 medical student places.

“We fought long and hard for this medical school which will train doctors in the bush for practice in the bush,” Mr Gee said.

“It is only fair that country students have the same educational opportunities as their city cousins and that includes training to become a doctor.

“Orange’s new medical school has lasting significance and will be training our country medical workforce for generations to come.”

Once all rural medical schools are operating, around 140 students will begin their medical studies across the Murray-Darling region of New South Wales and Victoria every year.

Charles Sturt University, one of the Network members, is partnering with Western Sydney University to deliver a fully rural medical program at Orange.