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Federal Member for Gippsland Darren Chester is calling on Monash University and the Minister for Health to quarantine funding for the Rural Clinical School to retain its Bairnsdale campus.

Mr Chester has raised concerns with Minister Greg Hunt that Monash University is planning to significantly reduce its commitment to Bairnsdale.

Mr Chester said the school played a vital role in addressing workforce shortage issues and funding for the Bairnsdale campus should be quarantined for use in East Gippsland.

“I have been contacted by constituents who believe Monash University is set to reduce its commitment to the Bairnsdale campus, with staff reductions and a centralised service delivery approach, which will be detrimental to East Gippsland,” Mr Chester said.

“I have also been advised there are General Practitioners in the Bairnsdale community who are reconsidering their involvement in the rural placement program because of their concerns about Monash’s intentions.

“The Rural Clinical School Bairnsdale campus has played a critical role in supporting medical training in East Gippsland, addressing the workforce shortage and promoting positive health outcomes in our community.

“Funding for this program should be quarantined for use in Bairnsdale and, if Monash University intends to reduce services, the funding should be redirected to a new provider in the region.”

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