BOLD VISION: Health and university leaders, from left, UQ's Prof Geoff McColl, CQU's Prof Fiona Coulson, Dr Jeannette Young and Adrian Pennington, shared their vision for a local medical school at a recent information evening in Bundaberg.
BOLD VISION: Health and university leaders, from left, UQ's Prof Geoff McColl, CQU's Prof Fiona Coulson, Dr Jeannette Young and Adrian Pennington, shared their vision for a local medical school at a recent information evening in Bundaberg.

Qld health's top medical officer backs Bundy medical school

QUEENSLAND's chief health officer has backed the exciting vision to develop a medical school in Bundaberg and Rockhampton.

Dr Jeannette Young was one of the key presenters at an event last week to bring the region's medical and education professionals up to speed on the bold bid to establish a local medical school from 2022 onwards.

"I commend Wide Bay and Central Queensland hospital and health services, CQUniversity and the University of Queensland on working together to build their capacity in training their own medical professionals,” Dr Young said.

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"Local and international experiences highlight the importance of local programs in securing long-term retention of nurses and doctors in regional and rural areas.

"We'll continue to work towards building a skilled and empowered medical workforce, in the right numbers and in the right places, who provide Queenslanders with high-quality, sustainable and outcome-focused care, regardless of where they live.”

Her comments come after about 100 Bundaberg region medical specialists, general practitioners, nursing and allied health professionals, tertiary educators and school principals gathered to hear from the health bosses and university leaders about the concept.

Last month a Memorandum of Understanding was signed between the Wide Bay and Central Queensland health services, CQUniversity and The University of Queensland, to work together and deliver the program.

Wide Bay Hospital and Health Board chair Peta Jamieson said there was great optimism and energy around the initiative.

"It was clear everyone in the room appreciated the health, education and economic impacts of a future medical program in Wide Bay, and there was strong support for it,” Ms Jamieson said.

"This is something that would benefit the whole region, partly through growing and keeping more of our own junior doctors, and also through employing more high-calibre senior medical staff, who would be able to provide a greater range of specialties and improved medical training.

"This medical program has been a long-held vision, and a lot of work has been done behind the scenes to get to this point.”

She said there was still a lot of work to be done, including the structure of the program, its selection criteria, and which teaching posts would be based in which hospitals across Wide Bay and Central Queensland.

"There is a great deal of belief in this program, and we all look forward to watching it come to fruition for the benefit of our whole community,” Ms Jamieson said.



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