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Medical students protest against fee rises

Medical students protest against fee rises and call on govt to prevent public health crisis

Medical students are today protesting outside the Tertiary Education Commission (TEC) office against a proposed fee increase that would add up to $5000 to the cost of a medical degree.

“Medical students are already lumped with student debts that average over $60,000. Fee increases will drive more young doctors offshore, worsening dangerous medical workforce shortages, especially in General Practice and in rural areas,” said Jesse Gale, President-elect of the New Zealand Medical Students’ Association (NZMSA).

“The TEC must decline the universities’ applications for fee hikes, to prevent a public health crisis. We are here today to make it clear to the TEC that students cannot afford to face even higher fees. Increasing medical student debt will have alarming implications for our nation’s health. “

Students will also present a letter to the TEC from health professionals, politicians, academics and unions urging the TEC to decline the request for fee increases.

“The governments fee maxima system has already failed students throughout New Zealand by resulting in fee increases well beyond what debt ridden students can afford to pay,” said Fleur Fitzsimons, Co-President of the New Zealand University Students’ Association (NZUSA).

“The government should scrap the student loan scheme, introduce a living allowance for all students and increase the Trainee Intern Grant for final year medical students.”

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