20 June 2017

The New Zealand Medical Association (NZMA) supports the NZ Medical Students’ Association’s (NZMSA) call for the Government to lift the time limit on financial support for medical students. “We supported the NZMSA’s previous campaign to raise the limit from 7 to 8 years’ full-time study, and were aware then that this limit would still adversely affect a number of students,” says NZMA Chair Dr Kate Baddock.

“Articles in the latest issue of the New Zealand Medical Journal make it clear just how much of an impact this is still having, with growing levels of debt affecting an increasing number of students.

“The cap on student loans limits the pool of people undertaking medical training to those with financial resources, and cuts out many with prior education or training in other fields, who may be ideal candidates.

“With a cap on student loans at 8 years of fulltime study, we risk losing many of those whose experience and knowledge (beyond the confines of medicine) could significantly benefit our patients and the health of all New Zealanders.”