NT medical program now a reality

nt_09The signing of a letter of intent regarding the Northern Territory Medical Program by Vice-Chancellor Michael Barber and Charles Darwin University Vice-Chancellor Professor Barney Glover, in the presence of Federal Health Minister Nicola Roxon, was an historic occasion for the two Universities as it confirmed the collaborative partnership that has developed around this initiative.

Students from the NT will now be able to complete their entire medical degree without having to leave the Territory. A full four-year graduate entry medical program will be delivered by Flinders University through the Northern Territory Medical Program commencing from 2011. In addition students will be able to complete their pre-medical studies at Charles Darwin University from 2011.

A $27.8 million commitment by the Federal Government provides for infrastructure to support the full medical program including the development of buildings at the Royal Darwin Hospital Campus, Charles Darwin University and infrastructure and resources in community based facilities throughout the Northern Territory.

Pictured from left to right are:  Kon Vatskalis (NT Government - Minister for Health); Professor Michael Barber (Vice-Chancellor, Flinders University); the Hon Nicola Roxon MP (Federal Government Minister for Health and Ageing), Mr Damian Hale MP (Member for Solomon); and Professor Barney Glover (Vice-Chancellor, Charles Darwin University)
Pictured from left to right are: Kon Vatskalis (NT Government - Minister for Health); Professor Michael Barber (Vice-Chancellor, Flinders University); the Hon Nicola Roxon MP (Federal Government Minister for Health and Ageing), Mr Damian Hale MP (Member for Solomon); and Professor Barney Glover (Vice-Chancellor, Charles Darwin University)

A major focus of the program will be the introduction of new Indigenous Transition Pathways into Medicine that will increase the number of Indigenous medical graduates. Staff of both universities are excited by the prospect of future enhanced teaching collaboration.

Staff of both universities are excited by the prospect of further and enhanced teaching collaboration and are working toward achieving the goal of commencing the programs in 2011.

Flinders University Vice-Chancellor Professor Michael Barber is pleased by the recent announcement to fund the medical program.

“I am pleased to be able to sign this letter of intent along with my CDU counterpart,  Professor Glover. The Australian Minister for Health has signalled strong support for our collaborative approach to medical education in the Northern Territory and we aim to deliver on the commitment that we have signalled today,” Professor Barber said.

The Northern Territory Clinical School, which is part of Flinders University School of Medicine, currently provides medical training in the Northern Territory for the last two years of the Flinders Medical Program (GEMP).

The medical degree to be taught in the Territory will be the Flinders University model, but with an NT-specific focus on Indigenous, rural and remote health.

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