Canadian Federation of Students

Canadian Federation of Students

June 15, 2005 15:09 ET

Tuition Fees are Deterring Students from Studying Medicine

A New Survey Documents Impact of High Tuition Fees on Enrolment Attention: Assignment Editor, Education Editor, Health/Medical Editor, News Editor OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - June 15, 2005) - The number of students from low-income families entering medical school is plummeting according to the results of a survey released today by the Canadian Federation of Medical Students and the Canadian Association of Interns and Residents. The survey also reports that student debt is playing an increasing role in graduates' career choices.

"Tuition fees between $10,000 and $15,000 have created elitist medical schools, and hundreds of young doctors are saddled with student debt approaching and exceding $100,000," said George Soule, National Chairperson of the Canadian Federation of Students.

According to the data from the National Physician Survey, as tuition fees continue to increase, the proportion of first-year medical students from families earning $40,000 or less has shrunk from 16% in 1997 to 12% in 2004. The Survey also shows a steady increase in the number of medical graduates who indicate that student debt is driving their specialty choice and practice location. The impact of fees was more pronounced in every category in Ontario, where tuition fees are the highest.

"High tuition fees are threatening to warp Canada's health care system by forcing new doctors to think about their student debt before the needs of their communities," said Soule. "Increasing federal funding for post-secondary education and reducing tuition fees is the only way to ensure accessible, high-quality professional training for doctors, which in turn strengthens comprehensive public health care."

The Canadian Federation of Students is composed of more than 75 university and college students' unions, uniting one half million students from St. John's to Victoria. Students in Canada have been represented by the Canadian Federation of Students and its predecessor organisations since 1927.

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