Waikato Medical School Feature2
Waikato Medical School Feature2

Improving access to healthcare for everyone

Waikato District Health Board and the Waikato University have been working on innovative healthcare solutions to improve access and meet future demands for everyone in the community. Through this partnership a proposal for a new medical school based in the Waikato has been submitted to the government.

Why we need a medical school:

We are not training enough doctors, nor the right doctors and also not distributing them to meet the needs of all New Zealanders.

It’s been nearly 50 years since the last medical school was created in New Zealand. In this time our provincial and rural health status has not improved as much as it should have and access continues to be a growing problem, yet existing medical training programmes have not changed to meet these needs.

It is time for a new radical approach in New Zealand to tackle these provincial and rural health problems.

(external link)

What is being proposed?

The Waikato Medical School will offer a medical degree programme which reflects international best practice and is unique in New Zealand.  Specifically it will be:

  1. Graduate entry only (requiring an undergraduate degree from any university in any subject, compared to the current requirement to take health sciences at Auckland or Otago Universities to have the option to enter medicine)
  2. Four years in length rather than the six years currently required at Auckland and Otago universities
  3. Community engaged, involving communities outside the tertiary hospital centres in the design of the programme, selection of students, and training of students
  4. Proactive in adding to existing clinical placement opportunities for medical students across the Midland health region (Bay of Plenty, Lakes, Tairawhiti and Waikato District Health Boards)
  5. An opportunity to build a new medical school in genuine partnership with Māori and with other high health needs communities.

Read the full list of Waikato Medical School FAQs(external link).



In other initiative to improve healthcare access for everyone, Waikato DHB also recently launched SmartHealth(external link), a free online healthcare service for people in the Waikato which connects them with a range of health services using a smart phone, tablet device or home computer.

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