Minister gives conditional support to WA med school

Curtin University’s plans to open WA’s third medical school have received conditional support from the state government, in the face of entrenched opposition from within the profession.

Doctors, medical students and Medical Deans Australia and New Zealand have all voiced disapproval over the new school. But Curtin pro vice-chancellor health sciences, Professor Jill Downie, said the university was awaiting commonwealth approval for 100 new government-supported student places and was “on track” to open a five-year undergraduate medical program in 2014.

“There have been calls by many groups about the shortage of doctors in Western Australia [and] the general feeling is there is a workforce shortage,” Professor Downie said.

The WA government has budgeted more than $70 million to train junior doctors over the next four years and launched a $565 million program to attract doctors to regional areas. “We accept that