Research - 24.08.2017 - 00:00 

Milestone for the Joint Medical Master St.Gallen

At its meeting of last Tuesday, the Government of the Canton of St.Gallen adopted the bill concerning the Joint Medical Master St.Gallen (JMM-SG). The bill aims to establish a Master’s programme in Medicine in St.Gallen. The Cantonal Parliament will now be able to set up a committee in its coming September session to conduct preparatory work on the bill.

24 August 2017. From Autumn Semester 2020 onwards, 40 students should be able to study for a Master’s degree in Medicine at the University of St.Gallen and at the St.Gallen Cantonal Hospital. The bill that has now been adopted specifies the goals of the Joint Medical Master St.Gallen and constitutes an important milestone for this project. Previously, a project had examined different variants of medical studies in St.Gallen. In the wake of this work, the Government launched the current implementation project for the Joint Medical Master St.Gallen in early November 2016.

High number of registrations
The planned course is based on a cooperation agreement between the Universities of St.Gallen and Zurich in cooperation with the St.Gallen Cantonal Hospital and Zurich’s University Hospital. The institutions involved are pushing preparations at an intensive pace since the numbers of registrations for the new degree course are gratifyingly high. The undergraduates of the St.Gallen track will already start their studies at the University of Zurich this autumn.

The Cantonal Government, the University and the Cantonal Hospital are convinced that they are establishing a modern and innovative service with the Joint Medical Master St.Gallen. The governmental bill reveals that the lack of qualified health care staff is particularly apparent in Eastern Switzerland. This existing lack of medical professionals will increase even more for demographical reasons. In addition, neighbouring countries have continually improved their own medical doctors’ working conditions and incomes in order to stop their emigration to Switzerland.

Reinforcement of medical care in Eastern Switzerland
Seen against this background, the option of a Master’s programme in Medicine in St.Gallen is a gain for the entire population of Eastern Switzerland. With the Joint Medical Master St.Gallen, the Canton of St.Gallen will be able to offer an attractive Master’s programme with a special focus on primary care and interprofessional cooperation. The goal is for more trainee doctors to live in the region after they have completed their studies.

The bill now requests the statutory amendments required for the Joint Medical Master St.Gallen and outlines the financial consequences. The project necessitates an amendment to the University Act which will be subject to the compulsory financial referendum since the additional net costs that will recur annually from 2024 amount to approx. CHF 2.1m. This means that the final decision concerning the project will be made by the voting public of the Canton of St.Gallen. The ballot is expected to take place in 2018.

The next step will be the submission of a dispatch to the Cantonal Parliament, which in turn will be able to set up a preparatory committee in its coming September session that will prepare the bill for the 2017 November session.

Photo: Fotolia / Witthaya

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