Pizarro admits that vacancies in Medicine can be «greatly reinforced»

Thanks to the quota of around 15% reserved for holders of another degree

Photos: Elisabete Rodrigues | Sul Informação (file)

The Minister of Health admitted today that vacancies in Medicine in Higher Education, which this year are just seven more, could still increase, thanks to the quota of around 15% reserved for holders of another degree.

The official who oversees the Health portfolio, Manuel Pizarro, said that he heard, on Sunday, the Secretary of State for Higher Education, Pedro Nuno Teixeira, «explain that these seven vacancies can still be greatly reinforced».

"Because there is, every year, a contingent of about 15% of the vacancies that are reserved for people who have already completed another degree to be able to access the integrated master's degree in Medicine", added the minister, in statements to journalists, in Mourão.

And, said Manuel Pizarro, «what the Government will do, in this case through the Ministry of Science, Technology and Higher Education, is to guarantee that all these vacancies are occupied».

If a part is not occupied, "they will be transferred to the general contingent, which will mean a reinforcement that the Secretary of State estimated between 150 and 200 vacancies [and] this is already a number with a meaning", he stressed.

As part of the Open Health initiative, the Ministry of Health Manuel Pizarro and the Secretaries of State for Health and Health Promotion Ricardo Mestre and Margarida Tavares, respectively, are now touring all 14 municipalities in Central Alentejo.

The objective is to get to know the units and ongoing investments and to dialogue with the population, health professionals, governing bodies of the National Health Service (SNS) and mayors.

According to the number of vacancies in the national competition for access to Higher Education, released on Sunday by the Ministry of Science, Technology and Higher Education, supervised by Elvira Fortunato, «the majority of Medicine courses maintain the same number of places, which total 1.541 vacancies», can be read in the 'online' edition of the weekly Expresso.

The seven new vacancies are at the universities of Coimbra (five) and Minho (two), reports the newspaper.

Manuel Pizarro revealed today that the joint working group to be created between Higher Education and Health, announced by Minister Elvira Fortunato on RTP3, on Sunday, «aims to overcome the difficulties» existing in the area of ​​training.

«It is a working group that aims to study the current reality, to verify if there is a need to increase the number of vacancies, if it is possible to increase the number of vacancies in the current public medical faculties, which are eight, or if it is necessary to expand training to other public higher education structures», he said, expecting the report later this year.

Without prejudice in relation to private education in the area of ​​Medicine, Pizarro defended, however, that, «in order to train the doctors that the country needs», «the public university and the SNS» are really necessary.

In Mourão, the minister praised measures taken by the council (PSD), such as support for the placement of doctors, nutritionists in the municipality working in the health area or an oral health office that will be created in the health centre, while the Recovery Plan and Resilience (PRR) will finance the construction of a new Health extension in the parish of Granja, currently without a family doctor, with a cost of 140 thousand euros.