AMA vows to fight 'secret deal' on school

AMA vows to fight 'secret deal' on school

WA's peak medical group has vowed to fight plans for the State's third medical school, warning the "secret deal" between the State and Federal governments could trigger a glut of new schools around the country.

Australian Medical Association WA president Michael Gannon said other States pushing for medical schools would be "buoyed" by the deal and seek similar agreements that blew out doctor numbers.

Curtin University has the green light to offer a five-year direct-entry medical degree in Midland from 2017, with 60 students a year increasing to 110 by 2022.

"We're already seeing the squeeze on clinical placements for medical students, with GP training places oversubscribed by 84 last year," Dr Gannon said.

"So we feel zero reassurance for the future, particularly when both governments delivered deficit budgets and we face cuts to hospitals, yet they can find money for this grand project."

But former director-general of health Neale Fong, who helped steer Curtin's application, accused the AMA and the Australian Medical Students Association of scaremongering.

He said that since a 2006 COAG agreement every State had agreed to provide internships for all Federal-supported graduates.

The Premier's office yesterday confirmed the Government's commitment to provide clinical training, supervision, internships and specialist training places for all students of the new school. The promised $22 million funding would be accounted for in the midyear review.

Health Minister Kim Hames guaranteed enough training places for all the new students.

"Remember, they won't need to be into our hospitals for four to five years when the first lot come through," he said.

"WA as a State will significantly expand into the future and we'll have to provide capacity for that. The AMA has opposed this strongly but I might point out they also opposed Notre Dame very strongly and now they are good friends with Notre Dame."

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