Research - 14.05.2018 - 00:00 

Bringing doctors to St.Gallen

At its February session the cantonal assembly unanimously approved the plan to train doctors in St.Gallen. One of the main aims of the Joint Medical Master is to encourage more prospective doctors to settle in the region after their studies. The proposal will now be presented to the people on 10 June 2018.

14 May 2018. From the autumn term of 2020, 40 students will now be able to obtain their Masters degree in Medicine at the University of St.Gallen. They will complete their Bachelors degree at the University of Zurich. This Joint Medical Master is based on a cooperative agreement between the Universities of St.Gallen and Zurich, in collaboration with the Kantonsspital St.Gallen and the University Hospital of Zurich. There have been a been a gratifyingly high number of applications. The first students have already started their foundation course, in the autumn of 2017. The vote on 10 June concerning this proposal represents an important milestone in this project. It follows on from a project in which various options for a medical degree course in St.Gallen were investigated. Then the government awarded the contract for the current Joint Medical Master project at the beginning of November 2016.

Securing doctors for Eastern Switzerland

The government, the University of St.Gallen and the Kantonsspital are convinced that they can create a modern and innovative offering with the "Joint Medical Master St.Gallen". The existing shortage of medical professionals in Eastern Switzerland will become more acute as a result of the demographic change in the population. The situation is also exacerbated as a result by the age profile of the doctors. Half of the basic medical care providers in the Canton of St.Gallen are over 55 years old. For that reason the health service relies on medical professionals from other countries. In 2016, 43.8 percent of all the doctors practising in Eastern Switzerland had foreign degrees.

Promotion of domestic trainee doctors as a goal

Surrounding countries have continuously improved the working conditions and income of their own doctors in order to stop the exodus to Switzerland. Against that background, the provision of a Masters course in Medicine in St.Gallen and the training of our own next-generation doctors represents a gain for all the cantons of Eastern Switzerland. With the "Joint Medical Master St.Gallen", the canton of St.Gallen can offer an attractive Masters course with a particular focus on basic healthcare provision and inter-professional collaboration. The aim is to encourage more prospective doctors to settle in the region after their studies.

The electorate decides

The introduction of a training course for doctors requires an amendment to the University Act. This amendment is subject to the mandatory finance referendum, as the annually recurring net additional costs will amount to around CHF 2.1 million from 2014. The Federal Government will also contribute to the setup costs in the context of a special programme until 2020. The electorate of St.Gallen will make its decision on the plan on 10 June 2018.

Photo: Photocase / David-W-

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