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National Party: Doctor Training

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1. Boosting Medical Students

National will boost the number of funded medical student places by 200 students over five years. This will increase the total number of funded medical student places from 365 students a year to 565 – a boost of over 50%.

We estimate this will cost $3 million in 2010 – the earliest that universities are likely to be able to start boosting student places – $7 million in 2011, and $13 million in 2012.

This funding includes an allocation for extra infrastructure and staffing costs for universities, and comes from within the indicative education spending allocations outlined in the 2008 Budget.

2. Boosting GP Training

National will expand the number of funded GP training places by 50 GP registrars. This will increase the total number of funded GP registrar training places from 104 a year to 154, a boost of nearly 50%.

We estimate this increase in GP training places will cost up to an extra $5 million a year, and includes an allocation for the extra support costs that a general practice faces when taking on a GP registrar.

Funding will come from the indicative health spending allocations in the 2008 Pre-Election Fiscal Update.

3. Encouraging More Training in Rural and Provincial Areas

National will encourage more medical students to do more of their practical education in rural and provincial areas where the GP shortage is biting particularly hard.

Research indicates that this will increase the likelihood that students stay and work in such areas after completing their training.

We will allocate an extra $1million a year as a fund to help practices take on rural immersion students. This funding will come from the indicative health spending allocations in the 2008 Pre-Election Fiscal Update.

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