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Medical Students Endure Labour Difficulties

Otago Medical students are frustrated with comments made by Labour MP Ann Hartley alleging that the 35% of medical students receiving allowances is too high.

“Ms Hartley’s insinuating that medical students are ripping off the system is irresponsible behavior, especially by a member of the important Education and Science Select Committee,” argued Ayesha Verrall, a medical student and President of the Otago University Students’ Association. “I would expect that she at least find evidence of this before making such a remark.”

“Even if medical students do come from more affluent backgrounds, the length of the course and the high proportion of mature students means many will be eligible for student allowances,” pointed out Ms Verrall.

“The endless political quibbles over eligibility criteria are frustrating. A government concerned about New Zealand’s troubled education system must address the real issue, which is the need for a universal living allowance,” said Ms Verrall.

Otago University Medical Students’ Association President Cindy Towns repeated medical students’ call for a universal allowance, “A Universal allowance for students would let students concentrate on their studies rather than the requiring them to have part time jobs. Currently the need to earn extra money means students don’t get the most out of the demanding medical course.

“Compromising medical students’ ability to study ultimately compromises our ability to learn the skills we need to treat patients well,” said Ms Towns.



Ayesha Verrall, OUSA President Cindy Towns, OUMSA President

Ph: 03 479 5332 Ph: 03 479 2985

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