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Govt needs to heed warnings on med students

The Government is being urged to act on advice it has received about the negative impact its seven year study cap will have on hundreds of medical students, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says.

“The 7EFTS lifetime limit unfairly disadvantages students whose future careers require longer study periods.

“Steven Joyce has been warned many times that this policy is likely to have a profound impact on medical students, 90 per cent of whom rely on a loan to pay for course fees and who generally need to spend eight or nine years at university.

“That in turn will have ramifications for New Zealand’s health workforce down the track.

“Labour understands Mr Joyce has received advice on the adverse effects the cap is likely to have next year when the implications of the policy kick in for the first time.

“He needs to show he’s prepared to listen to that and either exempt medical students from the lifetime limit, or at the very least extend the loan limit to ensure they can complete their study.”