Volume 92, Issue 95

Friday, March 26, 1999


NEWS

Report says increase education funding

Rent refunds may be in the mail

Safety proposals pass the first step

USC audited statements check in four months late

Board sits on SOGS fee decrease

New fee for medical residents causing accessibility concerns

Iozzo sees term as educational triumph

Quickies

Caught on campus

New fee for medical residents causing accessibility concerns



By Nina Chiarelli
Gazette Staff

The tuition debate rages on with the implementation this fall of a new tuition fee for medical students in the program of family medicine.

Starting in September 1999, Western is imposing a new tuition fee of $1,500 for medical students doing their residency in the program of family medicine, said John Gillis, a fourth-year medical student and chair of Future Interns for Equality and Accessibility in Medicine.

"The Western medical school already has some of the highest tuition in Canada. Our concern is that people will be looking for a more reasonably priced place to study," he said. "The fees are definitely a deterrent."

Medical residents are in a unique position, said Herbert Brill, VP-external junior for the Hippocratic Council. "They have MD standings and technically they're not considered students. That's why we think the notion of paying a tuition fee is ridiculous. We'd like to see it rescinded completely," Brill said.

Gordon Dickie, postgraduate director for the department of family medicine, said he felt tuition is the main reason there are still five vacant spots in the residency match. "I don't think there should be tuition fees for postgraduate students at Western or anywhere else," Dickie said.

"Tuition is the only thing that has changed since last year. There's uncertainty concerning fees. The problem is we're the only school outside of Toronto in Ontario charging the fee," he added.

The tuition fee should also be a concern for the London community, Brill said. "Western has a great residency program that goes out and does a lot of work in the rural communities surrounding London. When you see a drop of 15 per cent in the number of candidates, it certainly is a roadblock to the accessibility of medical care."

Greg Moran, Western's VP-academic, said he was disappointed and concerned by vacant positions. "I hope they will be able to find people."

Still, Moran said the university does not have enough information to rescind the residency tuition, but agreed it will be something administration will have to look at.

Rob Savage, spokesperson for the Ministry of Education and Training, said there has been a lot of increased funding for post secondary education. "We've invested more money into the Ontario Student Assistance Program so that all qualified students can in fact go to university, but if the university feels that this is a necessary fee, then that's up to them."


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Copyright The Gazette 1999