The University of Newcastle today said the Australian Government's significant investment to expand training facilities at Wyong Hospital would be a boost to the medical workforce in the Hunter and Central Coast regions.
Parliamentary Secretary for Health Mark Butler and Federal Member for Dobell Craig Thomson have today announced $4.5 million in funding to build an Integrated Education Centre at the Hospital.
Associate Professor Martin Veysey, Director of the Teaching and Research Unit at the Central Coast Health Service, said Wyong Hospital was not set up to cope with the projected 250 per cent increase by 2015 of healthcare students needing to train there.
"More training opportunities ultimately puts more doctors, nurses and allied health professionals on the ground," Associate Professor Veysey said.
"Today's important announcement will help make that a reality."
The Integrated Education Centre will provide a state-of-the art teaching environment for students enrolled in the Joint Medical Program*, as well as dental, nursing, pharmacy, physiotherapy and podiatry degree programs.
"This is the first time students from different health areas will be co-located at Wyong, allowing us to introduce a multidisciplinary clinical team teaching program in communication, evidence-based medicine, identification of sick patients and teaching skills."
Clinical teaching at Wyong Hospital is largely delivered by more than 50 conjoint staff of the University of Newcastle, supported by academic colleagues.
* The Joint Medical Program is delivered through a partnership of the University of Newcastle, the University of New England, Hunter New England Health and Northern Sydney Central Coast Health.
Martin Veysey is an Associate Professor at the University of Newcastle and Director of the Teaching and Research Unit, a collaborative venture of the University and Northern Sydney Central Coast Health.