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The Buck Stops Here

MEDIA RELEASE

7 May 2001
For immediate release

The Buck Stops Here


Medical students are urging The University of Otago to accept the government fee freeze.

"Accepting the fee freeze is the only way to prevent students from being burdened with additional costs that they can no longer absorb", said President of the Otago University Medical Students Association, Cindy Towns.

"Otago medical students are already subject to fees of $10 000 per year. An Otago medical student graduates with an average debt of $48 000, 25% of students owe more than $60 000", said Ms. Towns.

"Many students are angered by the prospect of 20% fee increases when they already struggle with existing fee levels", reported Ms Towns. "To increase fees again would be a disincentive for students from a lower socio-economic background to study medicine. Such a rise will encourage students off-shore to higher paid jobs which will further worsen present doctor shortages", argued Ms. Towns.

Increasing the cost of medical education will have a flow on effect into the community as young doctors who do stay will impose their financial burden onto patients".

"The University of Otago needs to show students that education is more important than
million dollar surpluses", continued Ms Towns.
The buck must stop at the University because medical students simply don't have any left.
ENDS

Contact
Cindy Towns, OUMSA President Ayesha Verrall, OUSA President
Ph: 03 479 2985 Ph: 03 479 5332
Cell: 021216 2599 Cell: 021 345 368



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