NZMA Supports Auckland Medical Students' Concerns
New Zealand Medical Association
The New Zealand Medical
Association strongly supports the concerns
of medical students in Auckland and Dunedin who are holding rallies
"Students from Auckland Medical School
could face fees of more
than $10,000 next year," said Dr John Adams, Acting Chairman
of the NZMA. Students from Otago paid more than $9000 this year.
"High fees, combined
with a course length of six years and an
inflexible loan scheme, means these students will face extreme
financial hardship and potentially graduate with debts the size
of home mortgages," Dr Adams said.
"Many may choose to work
in Australia or other countries where
they can earn more money after they graduate. This is a huge
waste of New Zealand taxpayers' funds."
Doctors may focus their career
pathways on higher income specialties.
Fewer graduates may choose lower paid specialties, such as general
practice. Existing problems, such as difficulties employing rural
GPs, will worsen.
students may choose not to take up medicine
because of the financial hardship, Dr Adams said. Students may
choose other professional courses, such as law or accounting,
which are shorter and cheaper and have similar earning prospects
burden will make it even more difficult for students
from lower socio-economic backgrounds, who are vitally important
as their communities tend to have the highest health needs,"
Dr Adams said.
"Ultimately, the cost of
health care to New Zealanders is likely
to increase long-term as students pay back their huge loans."
hopes the political parties take note of the
concerns and implement positive changes.