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01 Oct 2015

AMA President, Professor Brian Owler, has welcomed the Government’s decision to ‘shelve’ its controversial university deregulation legislation for this term of Parliament, but called on the Government to put an immediate end to fears of a blowout in university fees.

“Under the Government’s deferred proposals, the costs of a medical degree could have risen to well over $250,000,” Professor Owler said.

“This would have discouraged students from low socio-economic backgrounds from entering medicine, it would have pushed future graduates towards higher paying specialties, and it would have deterred graduates from working in underserviced areas, including rural Australia.

“The Government needs to give students some certainty that education will not be priced out of their reach should the fee deregulation proposals re-emerge after the next election.”

Professor Owler said the AMA is keen to work with the Government to develop sensible reforms that deliver improved funding for undergraduate medical education without putting the cost of a medical degree beyond the means of most students.

“The new Minister for Education and Training, Simon Birmingham, has declared he wants to consult broadly about future reforms, and the AMA wants medical workforce and training issues near the top of his agenda.

“Any future reform package must maintain our world renowned system of medical education.”

The Higher Education Base Funding Review: Final Report identified medicine as a discipline that was underfunded, both in terms of the resourcing required and in comparison with the funding provided internationally for medical schools.

1 October 2015

CONTACT:        John Flannery                     02 6270 5477 / 0419 494 761
                         Odette Visser                      02 6270 5412 / 0427 209 753

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Published: 01 Oct 2015