Partnership hope to attract doctors

Minister for Rural Health Senator Bridget McKenzie, Nationals candidate for Morwell Sheridan Bond and member for Eastern Victoria Melina Bath met with Latrobe Regional Hospital chief executive Peter Craighead. photograph bryce eishold

Minister for Rural Health Senator Bridget McKenzie, Nationals candidate for Morwell Sheridan Bond and member for Eastern Victoria Melina Bath met with Latrobe Regional Hospital chief executive Peter Craighead. photograph bryce eishold

A partnership between Latrobe Regional Hospital and a university willing to offer medical education and training in Gippsland could be a way to attract more local doctors, LRH chief executive Peter Craighead says.

It was one of several issues discussed yesterday with Federal Minister for Rural Health Senator Bridget McKenzie who said more needed to be done to encourage young Gippslanders to pursue tertiary education.

"We know that people who train in the rural areas do stay in the rural areas," Mr Craighead said.

"The consequences are that we have to continue to attract staff from Melbourne and other rural areas, interstate and overseas.

"So the other option is we need to take a bit more control over education and training in Gippsland and look to partnerships with other universities that might be prepared to deliver them in Gippsland."

Ms McKenzie said people in regional areas often lacked aspirations to pursue higher studies, often because they were not exposed to the same pathways as their Melbourne counterparts.

"There's many reasons why regional Australians, and particularly Gippslanders, are less likely to complete tertiary education than people in Melbourne," Ms McKenzie said.

"Some of it is around aspirations.

"Achievement is another area that we have to work on."

She also said local organisations should view their regional campuses as an asset rather than a liability.

"Start thinking about how you can get more international students, how you can get students from Melbourne, reverse migration ... rather than just bemoaning the fact that the locals aren't picking up the courses you have," Ms McKenzie said.

Mr Craighead also outlined the hospital's desire to invest in clinical research, boost allied health training and address the challenges faced by students with medical degrees not recognised for post graduate entry into Monash.

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