CQUniversity has formed a partnership with the University of Queensland (UQ) and the Central Queensland and Wide Bay Hospital and Health Services to train up to 40 doctors in regional areas each year.
Bundaberg and Rockhampton will receive their first intake in 2022 under the new Regional Medical Pathway.
Vice-Chancellor and President of CQUniversity, Nick Klomp said the formalisation of the partnership was a significant milestone for regional healthcare delivery.
“This is the direct result of four parties coming together to address a critical issue, the future of healthcare in regional Queensland,” Professor Klomp said.
“The resulting Regional Medical Pathway will ensure that more doctors are trained regionally, and importantly, stay regionally once they enter the profession.”
He said students would complete a three-year Bachelor of Medical Science (Pathway to Medicine) course with CQUniversity, before moving into UQ’s four-year MD program, both offered in the local area.
Vice-Chancellor and President of UQ, Deborah Terry said the pathway would help address the difficulties in attracting and retaining doctors in regional, remote and rural areas.
“Medical workforce shortages exist in regional areas across Australia and around the globe, and I am confident that together we can achieve a positive, sustained improvement in health outcomes in Central Queensland and Wide Bay,” Professor Terry said.
“The Hospital and Health Services will provide internship and postgraduate training places within their regional footprints, meaning aspiring doctors will no longer have to leave the regions to complete or further their studies.”
Chief Executive of Central Queensland Hospital and Health Service, Steve Williamson said communities in Central Queensland and Wide Bay could now be confident that future health workforces will be better equipped to deal with community growth and changing healthcare needs.
“The Central Queensland and Wide Bay regions are growing areas and the communities have an expectation that healthcare delivery will meet future demand,” Mr Williamson said.
Chief Executive of Wide Bay Hospital and Health Service, Deborah Carroll said the new partnership represented the first opportunity for aspiring Rockhampton and Bundaberg doctors to be trained in their own backyard.