$210,000 Federal Grant to Expand North Coast Student Doctor Training
Federal Member for Cowper Luke Hartsuyker has announced a $210,000 grant to CHC Medical to expand its student medical training facilities at the Coffs Harbour Health Campus.
The grant will fund consulting and training rooms to allow up to 12 University of New South Wales medical students and three registrars to complete their studies and training at the newly created Coffs harbour General Practice Registrar Training Facility.
The funds are part of the Federal Government’s $52.5 million Rural and Regional Teaching Infrastructure Grants (RRTIG) program which funds upgrades to existing regional doctor surgeries to accommodate for training for medical students and supervising registrars.
“These grants are vital to regional areas, such as the North Coast, where training facilities are limited and the need for more doctors is at its highest,’’ Mr Hartsuyker said.
“The ability to train more students and GP registrars in purpose built facilities locally will help attract and retain doctors on the North Coast and deliver health services needed for regional Australia.
“As regional communities we deserve access to quality doctors and the best training facilities, in order to avert doctor shortages, which blow out waiting times to see a GP and increases the load on the hospital system,’’ Mr Hartsuyker said.
The grant, matched dollar for dollar by CHC Medical, will fund a major expansion in training facilities at their Coffs Harbour Health Campus site, which will include consultation rooms, a study lounge and minor surgery treatment rooms.
CHC Medical Director Samuel Ledger said: “The intake for programs in regional Australia for medical graduates and registrars are often limited by the number of positions available.
“The completion of the GP Registrar Training Facility, this will allow CHC Medical to train and develop significantly more graduates, students and GP registrars, in a purpose-built medical teaching facility.
We believe our community deserves access to the highest quality Australian doctors - during the day, after hours, and on weekends. CHC Medical is honoured to join resources with the government to create Coffs Harbour's General Practice Registrar Training Facility."
Up to 175 grants of up to $300,000 each were awarded to existing general practices to allow them to expand their premises to accommodate space to teach medical students.
Other North Coast medical practices awarded funding include Star Street Medical Centre at Macksville to accommodate 6 extra medical students and two registrars and Beach St Family Practice and GP Training at Woolgoolga to accommodate five medical students and up to two extra registrars.
CHC Medical has expanded from two to 12 doctors in the past year, supported by three nurses and seven administrative staff.