Published Aug 1, 2004
New uni to tackle nurse shortage
By Linda Silmalis
August 1, 2004
A NEW university will be set up in Sydney in a bid to counter medical and nursing shortages.
Prime Minister John Howard was today announcing details of the new Catholic campus, which will be built in the inner city over the next two years.
The university will offer places in medicine, nursing, law, business and education.
It will also include a medical school, which will be closely linked to St Vincent's Hospital and other local public health-care facilities.
The campus will form part of Western Australia's University of Notre Dame and use an existing building.
The Sunday Telegraph understands the university will initially provide places for 60 nursing and 80 medical students, increasing to 560 students in total by 2010.
The Federal Government is expected to provide initial funding for the facility.
The University of Notre Dame was set up in Fremantle in 1990 and was modelled on the Catholic University of Notre Dame in the United States.
More than 3000 students attend the Fremantle university, which also provides spiritual education.
It is understood the new campus will be closely associated with the Catholic Archdiocese of Sydney.
The move is expected to be welcomed by NSW Nurses Association, which blames the nursing shortage on a lack of university places.
NSW Nurses Association assistant general secretary Brett Holmes said there were an estimated 1874 full-time nurse vacancies in the NSW health system.
"We've got this increasing shortage and unless you increase places, there won't be enough people coming through the system to meet future demands," he said.
"The demand for nurses is only expected to be greater as the population ages and this must be addressed.
"Nationally, it is projected that up to 40,000 nurses currently in our workforce will need to be replaced by 2006."
The medical school is the second to be announced in recent months.
In May, the Federal Government offered $18 million towards the establishment of another medical school to be set up as part of the University of Western Sydney.
However, the initiative has stalled as the offer hinges on matched funding from the NSW Government.
The State Government has offered to provide land near Liverpool Hospital for the facility, but has refused to match the funds.
Spokesmen for the Federal Government said the medical school would have to provide places for an additional 80 students.
The Sunday Telegraph
Oh John Howard, you brilliant, marvellous man! What a wonderful Prime Minister we have! He seems so genuinely concerned with the nurse shortage that he's spending Commonwealth funds to help build a new univeristy campus and establish new courses... ONLY A MONTH AFTER HIS GOVERNMENT GAVE APPROVAL FOR SYDNEY UNIVERSITY TO CLOSE DOWN THEIR NURSING PROGRAMS because (and I refer to statements made by his education minister, crazy old Doc Nelson here) rationalising courses is good and it makes no sense to have so many universitites in the middle of Sydney offering nursing. What the hell is this then? It looks like Peter is robbing Paul at election time to show the public just how concerned he is with our health and welfare... Hmmm... Perhaps these boards are no place for my predictable leftist tirade... It just makes me angry...
:angryfire :angryfire :angryfire :angryfire :angryfire :angryfire :angryfire :angryfire :angryfire :angryfire :angryfire :angryfire :angryfire :angryfire :angryfire :angryfire :angryfire
Nurses, students protest against cuts
08:48 AEST Tue Aug 3 2004
Nurses and students have rallied outside a Sydney University management meeting to protest against cuts to the institution's undergraduate nursing courses.
More than 200 people gathered in the university's main quadrangle about 4.30pm (AEST) Monday in an effort to get the university's senate to overturn the decision.
A number of speakers addressed the rally, including representatives from the NSW Nurses Association and National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU).
The protest action followed last week's rally of about 100 association members outside Camperdown's Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, which recruits many of its nurses from the university.
Association general secretary Brett Holmes described Sunday's announcement by Prime Minister John Howard that Perth's Notre Dame Catholic University would open a nursing school at nearby Broadway as "bizarre".
"I am not normally into conspiracy theories, but all this seems a nice little coincidence to me," he said.
"I think the community is entitled to a full explanation of just what is going on here, especially as we face a serious nurse shortage."
Plans by Sydney University to close its undergraduate nursing course have been supported by Federal Education Minister Brendan Nelson.
The government says the university's nursing course places will be redistributed to a number of other institutions, including the University of Technology Sydney and the Catholic University.
Notre Dame University's Sydney medical school is expected to have 60 nursing places in 2006.
Mr Holmes said the rally called on Sydney University to reverse its decision to close its undergraduate nursing school.
A spokesman for the university said the association had every right to protest, but called the action misguided as the decision had already been made and was supported by the federal government.
He said the university's senate had no motions before a monthly meeting to discuss the cuts.
However, Mr Holmes said he was informed the decision was yet to be formally accepted by the senate and the association and students would continue to protest until the cuts were reversed.
Opposition health spokeswoman Julia Gillard said last week that a federal Labor government would act to save Sydney University's undergraduate nursing course and protect nursing education.
Our tax dollars at work! The most depressing thing is that, come election time (apparently next year) what the public will remember is an impression that the Libs increased funding for nurse education, an impression no doubt reinforced by party political advertising.
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