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Students Support Waikato Medical School

March 23, 2017 – Waikato Students’ Union President William Lewis is pleased to announce the Union’s support of the University of Waikato’s proposed medical school.

The Waikato Students’ Union believes that the University’s business case is well-thought out and addresses the needs of students and local communities.

“Our provincial towns are experiencing a severe and worsening shortage of general practitioners. Even the 1100 doctors we import from overseas every year aren’t enough to solve the problem. The Waikato Medical School will reduce the mismatch between graduate output and market demand for provincial general practitioners.” said Lewis.

“The Waikato Medical School will provide the market with a much-needed new breed of doctor, connected to the regional communities who need them the most.”

Lewis has met with the Minister of Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment to discuss the business case and has written to the government to affirm the Union’s strong support for the proposal.

“We know that New Zealand has a small number of medical schools and a lack of diversity in the way medicine is taught, by OECD standards. We also know that by OECD standards our existing two medical schools are very large and are unlikely to have sufficient capacity to grow and diversify.”

The Waikato Students’ Union also believes the move will be good for students. Lewis said uptake of the proposal will expand the opportunities available at the University of Waikato without affecting the scope or quality of existing course offerings.

“It really is a winner all round. A medical school would be great for students, great for local communities and would return $3 of value for every $1 invested by the government.”

“For the past four years I have been actively involved in policy development, party politics, and student representation. I can genuinely say that I have never seen an initiative garner such widespread local support.”

- ENDS -

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