Funding for a Graduate School of Medicine at the University of Waikato will be supported by community foundation Momentum Waikato if the proposal is implemented after this year’s general election.
Momentum will partner with the University to establish a support fund from philanthropic donors both nationally and internationally, to strengthen the proposal for the school, which the National Party has committed to if they are successful after the October election.
“There is already widespread stakeholder support to deliver a Graduate Medical School at the University,” says University of Waikato Vice-Chancellor, Professor Neil Quigley.
“Momentum’s support, their networks and the access they will provide to significant philanthropic funding streams can only strengthen our proposal further.”
The proposal for the school would see the University work with partners across New Zealand to grow and diversify Aotearoa’s medical workforce.
“Up to 120 students per year who already have a bachelor’s degree will receive four years of intensive, practical medical education,” says Professor Quigley.
The focus would be on students from provincial and rural communities who are committed to careers in primary care and to meeting the health care needs of the populations that live outside the main centres.
The University currently delivers a highly successful nursing programme training health professionals from rural and underserved communities alongside partner Te Whatu Ora Waikato and Clinical Partners from community care.
The cost of establishing the school would primarily be met via central Government and University funds, but successful implementation of the project will require significant philanthropic support.
Momentum Waikato Chief Executive Kelvyn Eglinton says Momentum exists to support and deliver projects that create transformational and intergenerational change for communities.
Momentum has already successfully generated funding to build the Waikato Regional Theatre and Hamilton Gardens. It also supports the Waikato Medical Research Fund, Midlands Sexual Assault Support Services and the national Vision Research Foundation.
“The University’s bid for a Graduate School of Medicine is not only regionally significant for the Waikato, it is desperately needed nationally,” says Mr Eglinton.
“The funding and support Momentum can generate for the Graduate Medical School will remove barriers to seeing the proposal realised for the benefit of our region’s communities and wider New Zealanders’ health care,” says Mr Eglinton.