About the Algarve Medicine Course: a personal view

Healthy cooperation between CHUA and UAlg is strategic and the Medicine Course should be an instrument of this strategy

The controversy that is being created around medical education in the Algarve cannot fail to cause us concern. It is an artificial question with dubious interests, as there is now, as there has not been in the last twelve years, any impediment to medical education at CHUA, which has been committed and known to provide training to all students placed there annually by the University of Algarve ( UAlg).

This is a topic that deserves attention from all Algarve people, focusing on the essence and not on personal sympathies, or on the protagonists involved. You have to know what you want, which route best serves the Algarve, and not let yourself be carried away by maneuvers that serve as trojan horses and that result in damage to the region. Exacerbated egos, or the interests of small groups, cannot override the common good.

The Algarve Medicine Course is the result of the efforts of many people, former UAlg Rectors, hospital agents and, in particular, José Ponte, Pedro Marvão, Isabel Palmeirim, and many others. This is an iconic, consolidated project that gives prestige to the Algarve and that must continue here.

The Medicine Course is not decisive for CHUA, as CHUA welcomes, annually, more than a hundred doctors, recently graduated, for the internship of the common year. It also receives several dozen doctors for specialized training. The impact on CHUA of students trained in the Algarve is minority and surmountable.

However, the Medicine Course is important for CHUA. It is important because it enhances cooperation with the university, scientific activity and the academic career.

CHUA develops, by itself, or in cooperation with external entities, significant scientific activity. Several of its doctors attend doctorates outside the region, in national or foreign universities.

Despite this potential and the ability to establish clinical, scientific and training cooperation, and having its own strategy, CHUA gives priority to the partnership with the University of Algarve and will certainly be in the first line of defense of the Medicine course. from UAlg.

The placement of UAlg medical students in hospital institutions far from the region can only mean a poor assessment of the impact of such a measure, or obscure maneuvers aimed at undermining the course and, eventually, making it move to other places.

Removing students from CHUA is not impactful for CHUA. Taking students out of the region harms the students themselves, but above all, it puts the continuity of the Medicine Course at UAlg at risk and amputates the local pedagogical and scientific activity.

This is a measure that we must all fight, that must unite us, and that, relying on information conveyed by Professor Isabel Palmeirim, may require the intervention of the regional political class, in order to preserve a legal framework that defends and gives prestige to regional institutions. .

If there are points that deserve political convergence, such as the railway or the central hospital, the aggregation of regional critical mass must be one of them. In this context, healthy cooperation between CHUA and UAlg is strategic and the Medicine Course should be an instrument of this strategy. It has to be defended.

I believe that, if there are no harmful interferences, those responsible for CHUA and the University of Algarve will find the appropriate solutions. In my opinion, the solutions will not involve the dismissal of those who have fully dedicated themselves to the course, but the correction of errors, the smoothness of procedures and knowing who identifies with the interests of the Algarve and who questions them.

No one is irreplaceable, both the University and the CHUA have, on their staff, people capable of holding any pedagogical or scientific position, but the legal framework that preserves regional identity and institutional loyalty is more important than mere replacement. of people.

Here I leave my individual reflection, from an optimistic Algarve, who believes in the potential of the region, with the conviction that institutional leaders, if necessary with the support of the regional political class, will be able to put the train on the right track.


Author Horácio Guerreiro is a doctor