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Medical students condemn fee hike

15 December 2004

Medical students condemn fee hike

Medical students are distraught at another large increase in tuition fees, agreed to by the Tertiary Education Commission (TEC) today. The TEC has allowed an exemption to the government’s fee maxima, allowing Otago University to increase medical school fees by $5000 over five years.

“This is an appalling decision; not just for medical students and their families, but for New Zealand’s health system,” said Jesse Gale, President Elect of the New Zealand Medical Students’ Association (NZMSA). “Medical students already pay huge fees, and are forced into massive debts.”

“It is clear that these debts are driving our young doctors offshore faster than ever. This fee increase will worsen dangerous doctor shortages, and harm the public health of all New Zealanders.”

Medical graduates already owe $70,000 on average and doctors are leaving the country in larger numbers than ever before.

“We are very disappointed about the TEC decision. Otago University has failed to meet the TEC’s criteria for exemptions, and we believe that this decision is both unreasoned and unjust.”

“Medical school tuition fees have skyrocketed in the last 15 years, from around $1,000 to $55,000 for a medical degree. This fee increase is made at the peril of our health system which is already suffering from doctor shortages in many areas.”

“The NZMSA calls on the Ministers of Tertiary Education and Health to address the dangerous medical student debt situation. This unfounded, unfair and unsafe decision must be reversed, and funding to medical education increased.”

ENDS

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