PARTNER UP: Prof Fiona Coulson said the medical school project will need partnerships with all levels of government.
PARTNER UP: Prof Fiona Coulson said the medical school project will need partnerships with all levels of government. CQUniversity

New medical school will bring more doctors

CQUniversity has confirmed it is continuing work on a feasibility study which could result in it opening its proposed new medical school to student doctors by 2021.

The university intends that medical school courses will be available at both Rockhampton and Bundaberg campuses.

The university's plans, which were announced last month, will be conducted in partnership with Central Queensland and Wide Bay Hospital and Health Services.

Professor Fiona Coulson, dean of the school of health, medical and applied sciences, said the reason CQUniversity was going down this track was to strengthen the region's struggling hospital and health services sector.

"Education within the regions increases the likelihood of graduates staying with regional locations upon graduation," she said.

"Another important factor is a curriculum that is designed to support practice in regional, rural and remote areas."

"The University has had a lot of support from regional stakeholders."

Vice-chancellor Scott Bowman said CQUniversity currently trains hundreds of students in the health services field, and the timing was right for the region to take the next step.

"We think it's time the region was training its own doctors," he said.

"It has always been a challenge to attract skilled medical professionals to the regions.

"We have had ... discussions with the Central Queensland and Wide Bay Hospital and Health Services about their future needs.

"There has been a consensus that training doctors locally would be a beneficial and logical next step."