It has been labelled as a plan to tackle Australia's rural doctor crisis, but some sections of the medical community claim a new regional medical school cannot deliver what has been promised.
The Federal Government unveiled its Murray Darling Medical Network as part of a mammoth rural health package in this year's budget.
But criticism of the plan has not subsided, with some describing the strategy to get more medical students into the bush as simplistic.
Existing rural clinical schools in New South Wales and Victoria will partner up under the plan, with some existing Commonwealth-funded training places being shifted from the city to the bush.
Under the plan, city universities could fill student places, which were previously Commonwealth-funded, with full-fee paying international students.
The Australian Medical Association (AMA) is not against the network model, but it is opposed to the extra student places that could be created in city universities, because it says there is already an oversupply of medical students nationally.
In what has proved equally controversial, a new undergraduate medical school will be established in Orange in central-western NSW as part of the package.
It is a rebranded proposal first put forward by Charles Sturt and La Trobe universities and has received a significant backlash from the medical fraternity.
Dr Zorbas said there needed to be a greater focus on postgraduate — rather than undergraduate — training opportunities for students.
"These resources need to go into training doctors, not medical students," Dr Zorbas said.
Many within the medical community who argue the decision to create a new school in Orange is a concession to the National Party more than anything else.
They say there is already an undergraduate clinical school in Orange and fierce competition for training positions once students graduate.
The Australian Medical Students Association told the government, the Orange hospital received more than 100 applications for fewer than 20 postgraduate internship positions last year.
Doctors-in-training have 'little choice' but to leave the bush
Medical student Alice Marsh hails from Boorowa, near Young in southern NSW.
She thinks medical students do want to work in the bush, but a lack of postgraduate training opportunities in regional areas leaves them with few options.
The 25-year-old is completing her final year of medical school in Orange, and she and her partner want to stay as postgraduates, but they have accepted that may not be likely.
It can take some doctors many years to practise independently after graduating, depending on what field they choose to specialise in.
"You can't do all your training in the country," Miss Marsh said.
"My partner wants to do ED [emergency department] training and he can only spend 12 months of his training program, which will be five years, in Orange, so we will have to move around a bit."
Miss Marsh said this was the time when doctors-in-training were putting down their roots, with some settling in the cities because a lack of postgraduate training opportunities in regional areas.
"It would be good to see more flexibility and to be able to complete more of your specialist training in rural areas," she said.
Miss Marsh said training places were competitive.
"More medical students graduate each year but the jobs at the end of the line aren't there, and it is a complex problem, you can't create jobs out of nowhere."
But the policy's champions, including the Member for Calare Andrew Gee and the Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack, are confident the plan will work.
The National Party has waved aside critics by outlining plans to increase places at different stages of medical training and to expand programs designed to train doctors suitable for working in rural and remote areas.
These moves have been warmly received by the medical community, but the debate continues around whether a new school in regional NSW is good policy or a political trophy.
This article was published and provided by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.