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Calls to exempt for medical students from 7 year loan cap

NZMSA calls for exemptions for medical students from the 7 year cap on Student Loans

The New Zealand Medical Students’ Association (NZMSA) called for exemptions for medical students from the 7-year cap on access to Student Loans today in an oral submission to the Finance and Expenditure Select Committee.

“Having 25-30% of New Zealand’s future doctors at risk of having to borrow outside the Student Loan scheme in order to pay for their last year of the medical degree is concerning, as debt is the greatest driver of graduates away from New Zealand and we have a significant shortage of doctors,” says NZMSA president Michael Chen-Xu.

“It is alarming that the Student Loan Scheme as it currently stands disincentives doctors trained in New Zealand from working here, especially given 40% of doctors working in New Zealand are overseas-trained and the government’s recent investment in increasing medical student numbers.”

“There are already significant financial barriers in access to the medical degree, given that almost half of students accepted into health professional programmes come from the wealthiest 30% of households – we believe that the 7EFTS cap on Student Loans will make this worse.”

The NZMSA submission to the Select Committee criticised the Student Loan Scheme Amendment Bill for not addressing the negative impact of the 7-year cap on Student Loans on medical graduate retention and called an exemption to the cap on Student Loans for medical students.

The written submission to the Select Committee can be found online at


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