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article imageOntario to meet politicians to discuss tuition fees

By KJ Mullins     Apr 19, 2010 in World
Toronto - More than 40 Ontario medical students will be meeting with members from all three provincial parties Monday to discuss medical school tuition fees.
The Ontario Medical Students Association (OMSA) arrived at Queen's Park on Monday to ask Ontario government to increase the maximum loan allocations, available through their Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP).
The Ontario government recently announced that it would be increasing OSAP maximum loan allocations from $11,500 to $12,240 a year. This is a positive step but considering that the average tuition fee for medical school in Ontario is $17,371 it may not be enough. The loan does not include basic living expenses that come with along obtaining an education.
"Unfortunately, we're seeing a lot of bright students being discouraged from studying medicine due to the financial commitment that is associated with medical school," said Caitlin Symonette, Co-chair of OMSA said in a press release obtained by Digital Journal. "Medical school tuition has continued to rise and corresponding financial assistance has not kept pace."
The diversity of students applying to medical school has been affected by the lack of available loans according to the 2007 National Physicians' Survey. At a time that Ontario rural communities are facing doctor shortages this could become a bigger issue.
"We know that students applying from rural and small communities are more inclined to return to their communities to practice medicine," says Christina Nowik, Co-chair of OMSA. "By increasing OSAP maximum loan allocations, we can strengthen the health-care system by ensuring that medical school is accessible to a diverse group of students across the province."
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