UPDATE 8.30AM: Federal Member for Fisher Andrew Wallace says he believes the 50 places on the Sunshine Coast are for domestic students, but conceded there would be some shuffling of places.
He said his understanding was that 15 Commonwealth-supported places would be shifted from Griffith University on the Gold Coast north to the Sunshine Coast University Hospital, and that Griffith had been given 15 additional international student places to supplement the 15 federally-funded places that would relocate.
"So more than likely they'll have to transfer those places (Commonwealth-supported) from the Gold Coast to the Sunshine Coast," Mr Wallace said late last night.
"This is great news for the Sunshine Coast."
Mr Wallace said they'd never committed to having a medical school "done and dusted" by the end of April, all they'd committed to was having the 50 places allocated for the Sunshine Coast.
But a statement from Griffith University following the announcement said that no additional Commonwealth-funded places had been allocated, and they would still need to recruit 15 international, full fee paying students to make the medical school proposal viable.
DESPITE Griffith University's statement that no additional Commonwealth-funded places had been allocated, federal member for Fairfax Ted O'brien O'Brien says the medical school places were guaranteed.
But he couldn't comment on whether it would mean a reshuffle for Griffith University's existing placements at its existing medical school at the Gold Coast University Hospital and across regional Queensland.
"I do not know what the broader arrangement is going to be with Griffith," he said.
"I can't speak for Griffith."
He said his expectation was that full-fee paying students did not fit into any Sunshine Coast arrangement.
"Let's just wait and see. This is good news."
UPDATE 5.10PM: Griffith University has revealed claims that the Federal Government has provided the Coast's vital medical school places are misleading.
Sunshine Coast MPs Ted O'Brien and Andrew Wallace today praised the Federal Government for "delivering on-time the extra medical places required to establish a medical school at the Sunshine Coast University Hospital".
But the university, which would establish the medical school on the Sunshine Coast, has cast doubt on whether a medical school could go ahead.
In a statement issued this afternoon a Griffith University spokesman said "no additional Commonwealth-supported places have been offered at this time".
Sunshine Coast Hospital and Health Service Chief Executive Kevin Hegarty was also not celebrating and was absent from the federal MPs' press conference.
The Griffith University spokesman said as it stood, the university "would need to recruit international students to ensure the additional 15 places are fully funded and the program remains viable.
"The Federal Government's proposal will be considered by the University's governing body in early June."
The university required 50 Commonwealth-supported places for a medical viable on the Sunshine Coast, and was 15 short.
It appeared earlier today this requirement had been met, with local members of parliament claiming victory outside of the newly opened hospital's front door.
Mr Hegarty told the Daily late this afternoon the health service was "happy for movement on this very, very important front but at this stage I'm keen to receive further detail".
He said he understood Griffith University was "in the process of digesting" what the announcement means.
Griffith University's spokesman said the uni would "fully engage" with both federal and state governments "over the additional 15 student places required to establish a four-year medical program at the Sunshine Coast University Hospital (SCUH)".
UPDATE 2.45PM: SUNSHINE Coast doctors are celebrating the announcement today that the Federal Government will support an additional 15 training places to enable Griffith University to establish a medical school at Sunshine Coast University Hospital.
"It's really good news that we will have a medical school starting in 2019," Sunshine Coast Local Medical Association President Dr Roger Faint said.
"We look forward to Griffith's involvement and interest in being part of it."
Dr Faint said locally trained doctors were more likely to stay in the region, and find work in rural Queensland hospitals.
"The new doctors will go to Gympie, Maleny, and other places," he said.
It would be a boost for local employment as well as filling a skills shortage in some rural hospitals.
"A lot of these regional places hire a lot of locums from overseas - you just don't read about it much."
He said there were many questions that now need to be answered about the new Coast medical training places, including which medical schools they had been removed from.
"We don't know in what form the extra 15 places will be, but it's very exciting," he said.
"It's at the 11th hour of course but we'll see what happens.
"We should thank our federal members and our state members and our mayor for making this the issue that it was."
BREAKING: The Federal Government has announced it will support 15 additional medical places for the Sunshine Coast University Hospital, delivering a long-awaited medical school.
Assistant Minister for Health David Gillespie described the move as a "positive and useful exercise".
"We've had, and will continue to have, very productive discussions with Griffith University and this is a positive step forward for the Sunshine Coast region. I look forward to finalising arrangements and visiting in the near future."
Member for Fisher Andrew Wallace and Member for Fairfax Ted O'Brien praised the government for delivering the extra medical places required to establish a medical school at the new hospital, bringing the total places to 50.
The pair campaigned for the national review and said they never wavered in their belief it was the only mechanism to secure the required places.
Throughout the process they remained in contact with the relevant Ministers to ensure the additional places were delivered for the Sunshine Coast by the end of April.
READ HOW THE STORY UNFOLDED
- Medical school in limbo as federal review delayed
- Premier takes aim at Fed Govt over medical school funding
- Uni holds breath ahead of Coast med school decision
"Griffith University advised the Government it needed 50 places and a lead-time of 18 months to establish a Medical School at the Sunshine Coast by first semester 2019, well thanks to the Federal Government's timely delivery they now have that certainty," Mr Wallace said.
"This is a terrific outcome for our region," Mr O'Brien said.
"It means Sunshine Coast school leavers wanting to study medicine can stay here with family support.
"We also know that graduating doctors are more likely to live and work in the region where they studied which means more doctors for the Sunshine Coast, hinterland and surrounds."
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Mr Wallace and Mr O'Brien thanked the Minister for prioritising the Sunshine Coast in the Review process and for delivering the 50 places within the promised timeline.
"Certainty around these places is of course the first step, not the only step in delivering a fully functioning medical school, but with this certainty Griffith can now move forward with other stakeholders, lock down the details and put in place their processes with a view to opening in 2019," Mr Wallace said.
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