The Northern Territory will soon be producing its own doctors after the Australian Government announced $27.8 million in last night’s Budget for an NT-based medical education program.
The Flinders University initiative, which is supported by Charles Darwin University, will allow Territory students to undergo their entire medical training in the Northern Territory.
In welcoming the funding today, CDU Vice-Chancellor Professor Barney Glover said the initiative was an outstanding result for the Territory, representing the Territory’s first full medical education program.
Professor Glover said the Flinders University NT Clinical School, which is part of the School of Medicine, currently provided medical training in the NT for the final two years of a medical degree. The pre-medical studies were offered in Adelaide only.
Last night’s Budget announcement would mean that the first two years of study would now be taught locally at CDU, Professor Glover said.
“This is a great outcome, not only for CDU and Flinders University, but also for the Territory as a whole,” he said.
Up to 40 doctors were expected to graduate in the Territory each year as a result of the program.
“A major focus of the program will be the recruitment and training of Indigenous medical students to become doctors in the Territory,” he said.
Professor Glover said CDU and Flinders University had worked closely with both the NT and Australian governments during the past 12 months to develop the proposal.
Substantial feasibility work carried out during the past year suggested that the NT was ready to “grow its own doctors”, he said.