At the inauguration of the Catholic University’s new Medicine course, the first in private education in Portugal, António Costa said that there is a shortage of doctors and that he will continue to promote the training of more professionals.
After the Minister of Higher Education announced the creation of three more schools of Medicine, it was António Costa’s turn to criticize the “corporate blockades” that postponed the creation of a Faculty of Medicine at the Catholic University at the inauguration ceremony that took place today on the Campus from Sintra.
“This moment, when it came to an end, not war, but peace. However, it should be a time not to forget the lessons learned, because a university does not only learn the lessons when it starts to function. You also learn the lessons of what was consumed until we reached this day”, began the Prime Minister.
The long process of authorizing the creation of a course at Católica, the only medical course in private education in Portugal, taught lessons about “the maximum scientific demand” and also about “the null corporate blocking capability“. Costa emphasizes that the training of more doctors “will continue”.
“It is with great satisfaction that I see this ability that the Catholic University had to overcome the state bureaucracy, while still associating with itself other institutions in the domains of science. [Gulbenkian] and clinical [Grupo Luz Saúde]. Certainly, this is a great lesson that we must all take”, concluded the executive’s leader.
Despite the increase in the number of doctors trained since 1995 until now, there is still a high demand in medicine courses. Costa believes that “it is not worth discussing whether we have too many doctors, or if we have too few, because there is one thing that is certain: There is a greater demand for medical training than what is offered”.
Also for the Prime Minister, in addition to having a proportion of 600 candidates for every 50 vacancies, “every day, there is a lack of human resources in Medicine, either in the public or in the private sector”. “It means that we need more doctors and that there are young people who want to graduate in Medicine”, he reinforced.
Patriarch Cardinal Manuel Clemente was present at the inauguration. António Costa joked in his speech: “For those who have the privilege of faith, it will be even easier to overcome difficulties than those who do not have this privilege and who have to remain contained in what is the limited capacity of their human beings”, he said.
It should be recalled that the Council of Portuguese Medical Schools (CEMP) manifested itself against the creation of the Catholic Medicine course, speaking in a yielding to political pressure and stating that the decision does not contribute to “the reinforcement of medical education and medical practice in Portugal, quite the contrary”.
“We do not want the vulgarization and trivialization of medical education and, above all, the inadequacy of what are the real needs of the country”, defended the CEMP, stressing that the increase in the training offer would only increase the number of undifferentiated doctors and no professional way out.
The National Association of Medical Students and the Medical Association also criticized the measure, with the Order saying that the quality of the course was at stake and that the “political sphere prevailed over the technical sphere”.
In a recent interview to Diário de Notícias, Manuel Heitor also announced the creation of three more medical schools in Évora, Aveiro and Vila Real. This decision was also criticized by the Council of Portuguese Medical Schools and by the Order, which consider that the country does not need to train more doctors.
Adriana Peixoto, ZAP //