Release type: Joint Media Release


Albanese Government delivers CDU medical school


The Hon Mark Butler MP
Minister for Health and Aged Care
The Hon Jason Clare MP
Minister for Education
Senator The Hon Malarndirri McCarthy
Assistant Minister for Indigenous Health
Luke Gosling OAM MP
Member for Solomon
Marion Scrymgour MP
Member for Lingiari
The Hon Selena Uibo MLA
Northern Territory Minister for Health

The Albanese Government is delivering on the long-term call for Charles Darwin University to establish a medical school in the Northern Territory.
This will revolutionise medical training in the Territory, helping to attract and retain more doctors to provide healthcare in the Top End.
The Government will provide $24.6 million to Charles Darwin University to establish and operate a medical school from 2026 and they will be invited to apply for an ongoing allocation of 40 commencing medical Commonwealth Supported Places (CSPs) a year.
The Government will also provide funding to support capital, establishment, and recurrent costs. Funding will be subject to the outcomes of exploratory work announced by the Government in 2023, including development of a medical school curriculum and accreditation by the Australian Medical Council.
Medical graduates who come from a regional background or study in the regions are much more likely to stay and practice in these areas. For this reason, the final report of the Australian Universities Accord found a need to increase the number of medical students practicing in regional areas.
Growing the Territory’s locally based medical workforce, who understand the needs of their local community including First Nations people, will be to the betterment of all Territorians.
The Albanese Government is also delivering an additional $4.7 million over five years for the existing Northern Territory Medical Program (NTMP).
This will provide an additional six supported places per year, to become junior doctors and registrars working and living in the NT, in addition to the 30 positions per year, already provided under the program.
The NTMP is a collaboration between Flinders University and Charles Darwin University and is co-funded by the NT and Australian Governments to build a home-grown medical workforce equipped to work in remote areas and with First Nations people.
The NTMP has gone from strength to strength since it began. Over 200 students have graduated, and all have taken up junior doctor positions in the NT. Almost nine out of 10 students have been from the NT, with 10 per cent being from a First Nations background.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Health and Aged Care Mark Butler:
“For too long students from the NT who have wanted to study medicine have had to start their study away from home.

“We know junior doctors and trainees are more likely to work in communities that they study in.
“Establishing a medical school will be an important step in developing and retaining a high-quality medical workforce equipped to deal with the Territory’s unique health challenges.”
Quotes attributable to Minister for Education Jason Clare:
“The Territory deserves a medical school and the Albanese Government is proud to help deliver one.

“This will attract and retain a local medical workforce and support the health of Territorians.”
Quotes attributable to Assistant Minister McCarthy:
“This investment will go a long way to building a home-grown medical workforce equipped to deal with the NT’s health challenges.

“Getting more doctors training, working and living in the NT will benefit all Territorians.

“I’m particularly looking forward to seeing opportunities to grow the number of First Nations medical practitioners.”

Quotes attributable to Luke Gosling OAM, Member for Solomon:
“There is strong demand for doctors across the country, and this historic announcement delivers on a long-standing commitment by Malarndirri, Marion and I to boost our local healthcare workforce.

“Training our own means that we’ll have doctors with a more nuanced understanding of the local challenges and landscape.

“Providing culturally and clinically relevant care will support our continued efforts to get better health outcomes for Aboriginal people and all Territorians.

“We’ve got the talent here – this investment is about making sure they have the best resources and training to get them qualified and out into the local community.”

Quotes attributable to Marion Scrymgour, Member for Lingiari:

“A new undergraduate medical school in the Territory will boost the chances of students staying in the NT after graduation.

“The Albanese Labor Government will work with the Northern Territory Government, Charles Darwin University and other stakeholders to ensure the new medical school meets the needs of Territory communities.”
“A strong home-grown medical workforce will be a significant part of our efforts in Closing the Gap.”
Quotes attributable to Northern Territory Minister for Health, Selena Uibo:
“This funding will be a game changer to grow our own medical workforce and offer Territorians the opportunity to study and train closer to home.
“Our Territory Labor Government welcomes this funding that will see a new medical school as early as 2026, opening doors of an array of possibilities for graduate practitioners in Territory.
“This funding will boost our health services capabilities in the future and help the Territory’s healthcare workforce grow, with flow on effects creating a stronger clinical research workforce and improvement in urban, rural and remote health services right across the Territory.”