Innovative education and specialist care for Nepean’s new Clinical School
Plans for the new $25 million Nepean Clinical School were on show early August, as Minister for Health and Ageing, Nicola Roxon, and the Federal Member for Lindsay, David Bradbury, visited Nepean Hospital and Clinical School.
The University of Sydney secured $17.2 million in federal funding for the new Clinical School from the Health and Hospitals Fund, announced in the May budget. A new three-level facility will be built on land purchased by the University of Sydney, opposite Nepean Hospital.
While the new building will include all the latest student education facilities to cater for the 200 local medical students based at Nepean, in a new and different approach, it will also include a suite of consulting rooms for VMOs at Nepean Hospital. Patients visiting specialists in the new Clinical School consulting rooms will be bulk billed and in return, medical students will be present for consultations.
Speaking after reviewing plans, Nicola Roxon described the integration of medical education and specialist clinics in the new facility as a “win win”.
“It is a win for patients, a win for the local community and a win for students. I hope to see it become a model for future,” she said.
The new facility would build research capacity in the area, it would provide better teaching for students and better outcomes and opportunities for patients, she said.
David Bradbury was also supportive of the “innovative program” which brought together training and delivery of health services. “We know if we have good training here in the local community and hospital, then young doctors will stay.”
The head of Nepean Clinical School, Professor Michael Peek , estimated construction would take 18 months from the time they received funds.
“What has been funded is more than a building, it is a co-ordinated approach to the delivery of affordable specialist care in a setting that promotes research and education for medical students, specialists in training and other allied health staff. Such training options under the current systems are difficult to deliver,” Professor Peek said.