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NZMA Welcomes Step Up Scholarships


NEW ZEALAND MEDICAL ASSOCIATION MEDIA RELEASE


FROM: Susan Budd, Communications Manager

DATE: Thursday, 14 August, 2003

NZMA Welcomes Step Up Scholarships


NZMA Chairman Dr Tricia Briscoe and New Zealand Medical Students Association (NZMSA) President Brandon Adams have made a joint statement applauding the new Step Up tertiary scholarships announced by Associate Minister of Education Hon Steve Maharey and Minister of Health Hon Annette King today.

‘The NZMA strongly welcomes this innovative step from the Government,’ says Dr Briscoe. ‘It has recognised the threat to the health workforce caused by huge student debt levels and will do much to reduce stress from the burden of debt for some medical students. We do recognise, however, that it does not address the debt levels of present and recent students, or of future students ineligible for the scheme.’

Mr Adams says that the NZMSA are very pleased to see critical elements from their policies reflected in the policy announced today.

‘The scholarships are substantial and will make a difference. Although there are return of service requirements, they seem to be flexible enough to make it an attractive option for those who are eligible,’ he says.

Both Mr Adams and Dr Briscoe agree that the scholarships will help improve doctors’ retention levels and provide opportunities for New Zealanders who may not have otherwise been able to consider a career in medicine.

‘Both the NZMA and NZMSA are happy to continue to work with the Government to develop further initiatives in support of the medical workforce,’ says Dr Briscoe.

ENDS

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