The $21 million Macarthur Clinical School may be filled with fancy features and modern technology, but it’s the people inside that are the most important.
It’s hoped the school – located a stone’s throw away from Campbelltown Hospital – will be the engine room that produces the next generation of local medical professionals.
The four-storey facility – the result of a Western Sydney University and state government partnership – not only aims to address the shortfall of medical professionals in the region, but also aims to produce enough graduates to cater for Macarthur’s rapidly expanding population.
“This is a community that has more than a 100 people a week moving in here,” dean of the university’s School of Medicine, Professor Annemarie Hennessy said.
“We know there is a correlation between doing early training in an area and then staying on in the area.
“That’s why we are also recruiting and encouraging locals to apply (for positions here).”
The state government’s $134 million expansion of Campbelltown Hospital was recently complete and in June Premier Gladys Berejiklian announced another $632 million would be invested into hospital upgrades.
However, it’s no good having giant hospitals without enough staff – and that’s where the clinical school would be vital for Macarthur and surrounding areas, Western Sydney University vice chancellor Barney Glover said.
“This facility is critical to addressing those issues,” he said.
“(The clinic) ensures Campbelltown is at the forefront of addressing western Sydney’s health challenges.”
South Western Sydney Local Health District chief executive Amanda Larkin said the facility would help Campbelltown become a global leader in health services.
“Campbelltown Hospital is in good stead to become a centre for cutting-edge health care delivered by some of the very best doctors not only here in the State, but on a global level,” she said.
The Macarthur Clinical School had been used by students since the start of the year, however the official opening was only held today.
Health Minister Brad Hazzard, suffering from a bout of the flu himself, took a tour of the facility and was impressed by most of what he saw.
“The only thing that worried me were the students doing the male catheterisation,” he said.
The university also celebrated 10 years since it opened it’s School of Medicine. About 670 students have graduated from the School of Medicine since 2007 with about 70 per cent completing internships in western Sydney hospitals.
The school consists of a 153-seat lecture theatre, clinical skills teaching facility, simulation laboratory (where students practice procedures on dummies), eight clinic trial rooms, hospital library and office space for academic teams.