Opinion

Doctor program is valuable

By Shepparton News

We welcome the latest batch of medical interns who started their training at Goulburn Valley Health earlier this week.

We also note five of the 32 interns to serve at the hospital last year will be staying on as resident doctors.

These are signs of a system for getting young doctors into rural and regional areas working as intended.

Much effort has gone into achieving these outcomes, turning around a system that used to see more doctors leaving rural areas than arriving.

There are many individuals and institutions who deserve to share the credit.

The National Party has been particularly committed to doctors in the bush.

Rural Health Minister Bridget McKenzie visited in May to announce 20 Melbourne University doctor training places for Shepparton from 2021.

Melbourne University has also shown a great commitment to the issue via its rural clinical school on Graham St.

La Trobe University is another link in the chain, providing undergraduate training and a pathway for Shepparton’s youth to dream of and achieve a career in medicine, while remaining in the region.

Goulburn Valley Health also deserves credit for providing the vital training and, by association, the Victorian Government gets a nod for providing the critical stage one funding of our hospital.

But finally, we would like to thank the medical students themselves. Training to become a doctor is a massive undertaking.

Each one of the 32 new interns represent years of study and achievement at the highest level.

We hope each of the students enjoys their year in our town and that in 2020, each of them considers staying.