Doctors will be able to train from start-to-finish in Wagga before 2021, after the new University of NSW medical school was given the go-ahead.
The state premier is set to put pen to paper in a special visit to the city, effectively putting the wheels in motion to expand the existing training hub on Docker Street.
It follows this year’s budget announcement, with a fresh state-of-the-art facility designed to accommodate the UNSW medical school, delivering a city-first end-to-end program.
It is hoped the new course will encourage graduating doctors to remain in the Riverina’s regional and rural areas.
The Heads of Agreement will be signed this week, after it was decided the campus would be located on the Wagga Base Hospital grounds.
Following a visit to Wagga on Friday, NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard said the UNSW Rural Medical School would be charged “peppercorn rent” for use of the site, which would be adjacent to the stage-three development of the hospital.
He said the move was “very exciting” and would save about $3 million in funding, as no money would be spent on the purchasing of land.
“We will then be able to put that into the construction of the medical school,” Mr Hazzard said. “It is a giant leap forward.”
Building is expected to commence before the end of the year, or in the new year, according to Ms Hazzard and it is hoped the program will be operational before 2021.