End of an era for clinical school partnership

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The Sydney Adventist Hospital Clinical School.

An agreement between the University of Sydney and Adventist Health Care Limited to operate the Sydney Adventist Hospital Clinical School will not be renewed.

Representatives of Adventist Health Care Ltd (AHCL) and the University’s Faculty of Medicine and Health have undertaken negotiations to renew the agreement.

While AHCL was willing to renew the agreement the parties were unable to reach mutually agreeable terms. The university has decided not to proceed due to the expected continued impacts of funding changes in the higher degree sector.

The existing agreement expires on February 8, 2021.

“Sydney Adventist Hospital has had a strong relationship for over 30 years with the University of Sydney, and during that time the hospital has provided clinical placements for undergraduate medical and allied health students,” said Brett Goods, CEO at Adventist Health Care Ltd.

“We are proud of the achievements and advances made as a result of this partnership, and it is with profound regret we accept the university’s decision. We remain committed to continuing with a fully-fledged clinical school at Sydney Adventist Hospital, and are currently in discussions with other leading universities.”

The University of Sydney’s Faculty of Medicine and Health executive dean, Professor Robyn Ward, thanked the hospital for their support.

"We are proud of the achievements and advances made as a result of this partnership, and it is with profound regret we accept the university's decision.

“We sincerely thank the leadership, staff and our affiliates at the Sydney Adventist Hospital who have been great supporters of the clinical school and our staff and students over the past 10 years—we’re so proud of what has been achieved,” Professor Ward said.

“Unfortunately, the expected continued impacts of funding changes in the higher degree sector mean we cannot guarantee support for another 10-year commitment to operate the clinical school.

“We’re now working hard on alternative plans for our students and don’t envisage any disruption to their studies.”

Next year, the 72 medical students currently assigned to the clinical school will be reassigned to another metropolitan clinical school of the Sydney Medical School.

With the university’s decision to no longer operate the clinical school, a formal consultation process on the change will be conducted with affected staff and their unions. A total of 21 staff are expected to be impacted, and a further three staff will move to another site.