University of Auckland welcomes School of Rural Medicine plan

28 August 2017

The University of Auckland has welcomed the announcement that the Government will hold a contestable process to create a national School of Rural Medicine.

Vice-Chancellor, Professor Stuart McCutcheon said a contestable process was needed because any new school would come at a considerable cost to the taxpayer.

“We are confident of being able to show that a proposal which builds on the country’s two existing world-class medical schools will be the most efficient way to address this issue,” he said.

The University was already working with the University of Otago, Auckland University of Technology, the Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners and the New Zealand Rural General Practice Network on a new national School to solve New Zealand’s shortage of rural health professionals.

Professor McCutcheon said the challenge, acknowledged by today’s announcement, was to get more graduates aspiring to work in rural communities to meet rural health needs and address inequity.

“The University of Auckland has trained doctors and nurses in regional and rurally based programmes for decades. We have established specialist hubs for rural training in Northland and the Bay of Plenty, and will open another one next year in Taranaki,” said Professor McCutcheon. Otago University also operated several centres for rural training.

Professor McCutcheon said the University looked forward to working with its partners to advance the joint proposal and submit a compelling business case as part of the contestable process.


Pete Barnao | Media Relations Adviser – Team Leader