Call to cut funding to unis that don’t fill rural targets

Australian Medical Students’ Association vice president Catherine Pendrey said health department figures showed 10 of the 18 universities that received funding to promote the selection of rural students did not meet the 25% rural recruitment target in 2010.

The funding was provided as part of the Rural Undergraduate Support and Coordination (RUSC) scheme, which provided medical schools with money to promote the selection of rural applicants and to support students interested in rural medicine and rural placements.

In 2011 the program was merged with another to become the Rural Clinical Training and Support Program.

“As yet, the universities have not strongly committed to rural recruitment targets,” she said.

“The schools that did achieve the 25% target have shown it is realistic and attainable, so more needs to be done to help rural students overcome the barriers they face when choosing to pursue a career in