New medical faculty in Bitola in the fall: For some a "great idea", for others another "defective product"

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MPs from SDSM Nenad Kocic, Jaklina Lazarevska, Beti Rabadzieska Naumoska and Mile Taleski proposed a law that would establish a new medical faculty within the "St. Kliment Ohridski" University in Bitola. In the proposal, they demand that the faculty be the legal successor of the Higher Medical School at the University of Bitola and that higher education activities such as undergraduate, postgraduate studies, specializations, sub-specializations and doctoral studies are carried out there. The proposed seat of the faculty is in Bitola. It is proposed that the faculty will start working from the academic year 2024/2025, i.e. from the fall, with four units - the "general medicine" department, the "dentistry" department, the "pharmacy" department and the Medical School. The Medical School currently has 20 employees, of which 9 are full-time teachers, and 27 are additional teachers. With the adoption of this legal solution, it is necessary to employ at least 10 teachers in regular employment, 25 teachers in title positions and five for administrative and technical staff.

Such a proposal was immediately criticized by long-time professors at the Faculty of Medicine in Skopje. Doctor Niko Bećarovski, a full professor at the Faculty of Medicine in Skopje, who has been involved in his work since 1992, told "Sloboden Pechat" that this idea is bad from several aspects, mainly because of the lack of staff and conditions to make it happen, but also because that deviates from the world standards for how many medical faculties there can be in a small country of one million and eight hundred thousand citizens.

- Unlike all other faculties from the social group, for the establishment of a medical faculty it is necessary to have both staff and conditions. There should be a place for clinical subjects, experimental and laboratory teaching. At the moment, the question is whether the Faculty of Medicine in Skopje meets all the conditions, and not Tetovo or Stip, which certainly do not. it is not logical to make another defective faculty now. Regarding the staff, let them check what kind of staff is teaching in Shtip and Tetovo. There are a bunch of inappropriate shots. Clinicians teach preclinical subjects such as physiology, pathophysiology and anatomy. The classes are held from Shtip in Skopje, in the "8 Septemvri" GOB. The students don't have a basic place and now they want to do the same story again, Professor Doctor Bejarovski told "Sloboden Pechat".

According to him, there is no country in the world where there are four medical faculties per 1 million and 800 thousand inhabitants.

- If we follow that logic, there should be 40 medical faculties in Istanbul alone. There are world standards for how many residents open a medical faculty. Let them say in any other country there are this number of medical schools. In France there are 9 medical schools per 67 million population. They are the standards. Small states like ours should have one medical faculty. We are talking about state medical faculties, adds doctor Bećarovski.

MPs from SDSM, on the other hand, do not agree. One of the proposers, MP Mile Talevski, says that the need for a new faculty emerged from the very conversations with citizens and students.

– The need for a new Faculty of Medicine arose because students who want to study at the Faculty of Medicine will for the first time have the opportunity to study where they live. This proposal of ours is at their request and we already have serious gratitude from the people, from the citizens who gravitate to this region. The costs are enormous for students who are from Prilep, Bitola, Ohrid, Resen, if they study in Skopje and that is the main inspiration - that the students have the opportunity and the right to study at a medical faculty in the place where they live, that it be more accessible to them, he says. Deputy Talevski for "Sloboden Pechat".

He adds that the draft law is in the first phase, i.e. in the first reading, and that the teaching bases of the faculty are planned to be in the Bitola Clinical Hospital, in the Special Hospital for Cardiac Diseases "St. Stefan" Ohrid, in the special hospital for Orthopedics and Traumatology "St. Erasmus Ohrid and in a special hospital for nephrology in Struga.

- The law was proposed in a regular, not in abbreviated procedure, and it is planned to be improved with amendments in order to reach a quality solution that will support this big project, MP Talevski pointed out.

MP Jaklina Lazarevska told "Sloboden Pechat" that she is confident that with the proposal to establish a new medical faculty, a very good thing is being done for the citizens and for the health system: quality health services are created through trained and competent doctors, it will contribute to the creation new and professional staff, the health system will be improved and high standards in medicine will be maintained.

The higher medical school in Bitola is located on the last fifth floor of the Bitola Clinical Hospital and has a physical medicine cabinet, a school laboratory, a chemical-bromatological toxicological laboratory, two amphitheatres, a patient care cabinet, a library, three lecture rooms, an accounting office, student affairs office, teachers' offices, principal's office, student space totaling 1.897 square meters.

– Additionally, the University "St. Kliment Ohridski" - Bitola has a building of 1.600 square meters on three floors in the complex of the old barracks in Bitola, which is currently not in use, but the University will make it available to the new Faculty of Medical Sciences and Health, says MP Lazarevska for "Sloboden stamp".

Preparations for the start of work at the faculty will be carried out by the registrar's committee. The members of the matrimonial committee are appointed by the Government on the proposal of the minister in charge of higher education affairs, within 30 days from the date of entry into force of this law. The faculty will start working after the full implementation of the establishment procedure regulated by the Law on Higher Education.

Funds for financing the activity of the Faculty will be provided from the Budget and from other sources determined by law.

The students enrolled in the study programs of the Higher School of Medicine from the academic year 2024/2025 continue their education according to the study program in which they started their studies.


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