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Labour will lift cap for medical students



Tertiary Education Spokesperson
Labour will lift cap for medical students

Labour is backing calls from the country’s medical students to lift a government-imposed seven year study cap.

“Medical students are being stopped in their tracks by National’s limit on student support, Labour’s Tertiary Education spokesperson Maryan Street says.

“The government introduced a seven year limit on access to student loans and allowances in 2010. That is now beginning to impact on medical students who typically take more time than that to complete a post-graduate qualification.

“It seems it was meant to hurry people along to get their degrees as soon as possible, but it is backfiring badly on this group of students.

“Labour supports the NZ Medical Students’ Association in its campaign to get medical students exempted from the restriction, known as the ‘7 Equivalent Full Time Students (7EFTS)’ cap.

“A survey by members of the Students’ Association in Otago and Auckland, of their colleagues, has revealed some disturbing results.

“Ninety per cent of students surveyed intended to use a student loan to finance their medical studies while 41 per cent were unaware of the 7EFTS cap. When asked how they would fund themselves to complete their studies, 47 per cent said they didn’t know or would not be able to complete their medical studies.

“That is a disaster for health workforce forward planning.

“It seems that while the cap was not intended to catch medical students, it has.

“Steven Joyce could easily correct this.

“A Labour Government will lift the cap and ensure New Zealand is guaranteed a constant supply of specialised medical practitioners, who may take more than seven years to qualify,” said Maryan Street.

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