The measure, agreed at the national level for all Spanish universities, will try to be launched next September
The University of Extremadura is going to expand the offer of places for the Medicine degree by admitting twelve more students per course. The measure, which will try to materialize next September when the registration period opens, aims to combat the lack of specialists.
This was advanced by the rector of the UEx, Antonio Hidalgo, this Tuesday minutes before the start of the meeting of the joint commission of the SES and the University, to which the Minister of Health, José María Vergeles, had already advanced announcing his request to increase by 10% the offer of places in Medicine and Nursing degrees.
This increase in the training offer was agreed within the human resources commission of the National Health System so that it is applied to all public universities in the country. The objective is that the number of students who leave the faculties of Medicine each year is equal to the number of MIR places that are offered, progressively increasing the number of new students.
«For the second consecutive year, the MIR offer exceeds 10,000 places while graduates from the faculties of Medicine do not reach 7,000 in all of Spain. This means that soon there may be situations of people who refuse to take the MIR positions because they prefer to wait a year to repeat the exam and choose another specialty and of people who are already doing their specialty and decide to take the exam again to take a different specialty”, argued Vergeles.
The Extremaduran counselor also justified that it is important that the increase in places be done in the public university, because he explained that graduates from the private one usually choose specialties that have much more field of action in the field of private medicine than in the public one. .
The 10% increase in the number of Medicine places would translate, in the case of Extremadura, into twelve more students each new course, since it currently admits 120. The rector of the UEx, Antonio Hidalgo, thinks the increase is reasonable. “In Medicine it is evident that it is necessary to increase the number of graduates who later give specialists”, he valued.
The harmony is not so complete in the case of the Nursing degree, where the 10% increase would mean that the University of Extremadura admits 35 more students per course, since there are schools on the four campuses that add around 350 new students. every year.
«With the volume of students that we produce each year, it would be necessary to look at it in more detail. It would not be a problem of lack of space or teachers, the main inconvenience that we would have would be to find clinical practices for all those students”, argued Hidalgo.
This objection makes the rector rule out that the new Nursing places will be incorporated for the 2022/2023 academic year, but not in the case of Medicine, where he left the door open to the possibility that they could be offered already this September.
“We have already approved the offer of places and communicated the clausus numbers to Madrid, for this September we could propose it for Medicine but for Nursing it would not be feasible before the 2023/24 academic year,” he explained.
Not a short term solution
Vergeles expressed his desire that the expansion of places become effective next year, but the final decision, he acknowledged, belongs to the University. The urgency comes because the future doctors who now enter the faculty will take eleven years to become specialists. Therefore, the measure agreed on this Tuesday will not have short-term effects given the training times of doctors: six years at the faculty, one year preparing the MIR and four years of residency doing training in the chosen specialty.
«If the places are increased for the next course, the measure would not have repercussions for another eleven years. We have a problem that must be tackled because we do not want what is happening to us to happen to the following generations due to the lack of foresight in the number of doctors, decisions must be made now, ”Vergeles urged.
For the short term, the plans of the Ministry of Health to try to solve the problem of the lack of specialists passes, enumerated its manager, to recover labor rights, to offer next year all the MIR positions that already have accreditation (350 compared to the 291 of this year) and develop the statute of the tutor, so that it is more attractive to choose the specialties.
In the specific case of the lack of doctors in Primary Care, Vergeles acknowledged that there is an underlying problem that Extremadura is fully concerned with and that is the preference of these specialists for the cities. “The rural part can be left uncovered and here not only economic incentives are valid, we have to fight against the demographic challenge and, together with the faculties, make Primary Care more attractive in rural areas.”
The new faculty, at the planned pace
The decision to increase the number of new students each course in Medicine and Nursing does not pose a problem of space, recognized the rector of the UEx, given that the new Faculty of Health Sciences is being built, in the rear of the University Hospital of Badajoz.
Despite the fact that like the rest of the public works, those of the faculty have also been affected by the increase in the prices of construction materials and the delay in supplying them, the councilor José María Vergeles confirmed this Tuesday that the Jobs are going as planned.
“With the measures approved by the Spanish government and the Junta de Extremadura that allow us to review prices throughout the term of the contract and not penalize the contractor if the work is delayed for reasons beyond their control, we are saving the pace of the work”.
If the deadlines are met, the classroom building, which is the phase that is being carried out right now, would be ready for the 2023/24 academic year.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.