FEDERAL government funding has been allocated to advance the progress of the Warrnambool Clinical School at Deakin University.
Warrnambool is one of 26 regional hubs that will share in $28.5 million. The headquarters for the hub will be at South West Healthcare in Warrnambool.
The money will be rolled out over the next three years with exact amounts to each region still to be confirmed.
The funding will be used to further resource the school and better access to more medical specialists is high on the list.
Deakin University’s Executive Dean of Health Professor Brendan Crotty said he was pleased the provision of postgraduate training has been recognised as the appropriate way to attract more medical students to regional areas.
“We know that if people study and train in the regions, they’re much more likely to stay, live and work in the regions,” Professor Crotty said.
“The Western Victoria Regional Training Hub will link Deakin’s medical school with regionally-based trainees, regional health services, specialist colleges and accrediting bodies, and state and territory governments to build training capacity in our region.
“Across Victoria, three universities, Deakin, Melbourne and Monash, have worked together to ensure the future medical workforce needs of regional communities will be met through four coordinated hubs.
“This is a deliberate strategy to ensure the hubs are large enough to sustain a full specialist training program.”
South West Healthcare chief executive officer John Krygger also welcomed the news.
“This new funding is a further extension of the strong partnership that exists between South West Healthcare and Deakin University,” Mr Krygger said.
“Through the creation of training pathways, it will enable locally based medical students to pursue their professional careers whether that be through a specialist or general practice training program.”
Member for Wannon Dan Tehan said medical students in western Victoria would have greater opportunities to live, study and work closer to home.
“This will enable students to continue rural training through university into postgraduate medical training, and then working within regional and rural Australia,” Mr Tehan said.