The University of New England has welcomed the announcement made by the Independent Member for New England, Tony Windsor, that Tamworth Hospital has been accepted as eligible for funding of $220 million under the Federal Government’s Health and Hospital Fund.
“This is a significant announcement and great news for UNE’s School of Rural Medicine and the Joint Medical Program, offered jointly by UNE and the University of Newcastle,” said Professor Jim Barber, Vice-Chancellor of UNE and Chair of the JMP Governance Committee.
“One of the objectives of the Joint Medical Program is to increase both the infrastructure and medical staffing capacity of our hospitals in Tamworth and Armidale so that our students can undertake high-quality clinical placement in the region,” Professor Barber said. “This announcement is a critical step in our achieving that objective.”
The two universities have been collaborating closely to create a centre of excellence in rural medical and health education and training in a rural region of Australia and to provide state-of-the-art learning and training experiences for students and staff. “We recently were awarded a large grant from the Commonwealth Government to build a first-class education facility on the Armidale Hospital site that we believe will play a pivotal role in attracting and retaining a high-quality health workforce in our region,” Professor Barber said.
“But our work has not ended with these exciting announcements,” he continued. “The two universities are working towards another joint grant submission to the Commonwealth Government that will further increase the physical infrastructure of our education and training facilities at both Armidale and Tamworth. We are working collaboratively to be one of Australia’s leading rural medical and health education centres and to make a difference for all of rural and regional Australia. We appreciate that this takes time and commitment from all parties, including governments.”