THE Nationals’ Member for Riverina and Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack has welcomed today’s signing of a memorandum of understanding which continues his work to deliver a new rural medical school in Wagga Wagga to address the rural doctor shortage.

“I’m delighted the rural medical school will be built in the grounds of Wagga Wagga Base Hospital, which is the ideal location for doctors to train from start to finish and then go on to work in rural and regional areas,” Mr McCormack said.

“I have worked with the community to deliver this for many years and am delighted it is one step closer to being delivered.”

Mr McCormack in the May Federal Budget delivered $95.4 million to establish a Murray-Darling Medical Schools Network, which includes the University of NSW training young doctors in Wagga Wagga.

“We know that if we train more doctors in the country we will keep them here to help deliver the health services our rural and regional areas need and deserve,” Mr McCormack said.

“Congratulations to NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian and the NSW Government for signing the MOU and providing the land for what will be once-in-a-generation boost to health in our region.

“Money which might have been spent on acquiring land can now be spent on building the medical school.”

Mr McCormack has been fighting for a rural medical school in Wagga Wagga since being elected Member for Riverina in 2010.

In 2011 he helped established the Rural Medical School Implementation Committee to push the case for a rural medical school in the city.

“This MOU is a terrific next step in achieving what I and the implementation committee have been fighting for on behalf of the region for seven years,” Mr McCormack said.

Shane Manning