The University of New England and Hunter New England Health announced yesterday that the Tablelands Clinical School and General Practice Training Facility would be built on the Armidale Hospital campus.
The University of New England, as part of the Joint Medical Program with the University of Newcastle, Hunter New England Health and Northern Sydney Central Coast Health, has been successful in receiving $5.5 million dollars in Commonwealth funding, awarded under the Rural Education Infrastructure Development (REID) program, to construct and fit out the Tablelands Clinical School and develop a training practice building in collaboration with the New England Division of General Practice and GP Synergy.
The Vice-Chancellor of UNE, Professor Jim Barber, welcomed the collaboration with Hunter New England Health.
“This project is critical for both the University and the New England community as it is likely to increase the quality of clinical training and the capacity for clinical education across our area,” Professor Barber said. “It will create a professional environment, with teaching clinics for health-care students to obtain broader experience in the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of illness.”
The new facility will serve medical students enrolled in the Joint Medical Program as well as other nursing and allied health students enrolled at UNE. It will offer a greater range of clinical experiences by allowing students to be exposed to health problems seen by GPs and those referred to the hospital.
“Particularly important is the partnership between the University and the New England Division of General Practice in developing a training practice model of national and international significance,” Professor Barber said.
The Chief Executive of Hunter New England Health, Dr Nigel Lyons, welcomed the initiative, supporting the development of the clinical teaching facility on the Armidale Hospital campus.
“The Joint Medical Program partnership has helped to establish Armidale as a clinical centre of excellence, offering practical opportunities and experiences for medical students and also providing benefits for nursing and allied health students,” Dr Lyons said. “We are pleased to welcome the Tablelands Clinical School and General Practice Training to the Armidale Hospital campus. This establishes a firm training ground for students by locating the learning environment in close proximity to patient care.
“We look forward to working with the Joint Medical Program partners to build upon the success of this model – from the facilities and buildings to the curriculum and dedicated staffing needed to make the program an ongoing success.”