BOLZANO. The second year of the Faculty of Medicine is starting in Trento; in Bolzano the Medicine course could start in 2022. This at least the hope with which the provincial council, the other evening, approved the resolution that kicks off the process to lay the foundations for the institution of the course. The next step will be the development of the agreement with the “Cattolica” of Milan that should provide the teachers.
Lessons will be held in English; internships in Italian and German. About fifty students will be admitted; lessons at the “Claudiana”.
«We absolutely need to train – explains Councilor Thomas Widmann – a new medical class, to face the shortages of professionals who, in the coming years, will become increasingly heavy. I am optimistic about the possibility of setting up a degree course in Bolzano, but I would like it to be clear that this is only the beginning of the process ».
The shortage of doctors
The decision to accelerate the establishment of an ad hoc course to be done “at home” – which has been talked about for some time – arises from the examination of the numbers. In South Tyrol there is a serious shortage of both specialist doctors and general practitioners. Currently 228 places for specialist doctors are vacant within the ASL. To this is added the concern for what will happen in the coming years when, in the face of the progressive aging of the population and therefore of a greater demand for care, 380 specialist doctors and 102 general practitioners will retire (by 2030). The provincial council has calculated, for the three-year period 2020-2023, a need for 429 specialist doctors; and 30 general practitioners per year.
Currently, most of the young South Tyroleans move to Austria (about 500 in the 2019/2020 academic year) or to other Italian regions (about 137 in the 2019/2020 academic year) to study medicine. The institution of the course in Bolzano should serve if not to stop, at least to reduce, the bleeding of those who, going to study abroad or in other regions, often and willingly no longer return to South Tyrol. Not only. The offer of trilingual courses could also become attractive for students coming from abroad.
The choice of the “Cattolica”
The Province, after evaluating the possibility of collaborating with various universities, in the end chose the “Cattolica del Sacro Cuore” in Milan. The reasons are listed in the resolution: offer of a curriculum in English; research network and networks of high quality teachers; multi-year experience of collaboration with the Claudiana School of Health; willingness to collaborate with universities in countries in the German area. The Claudiana Higher School of Health has been identified as the natural location for the establishment of the single-cycle master’s degree course in Medicine and Surgery. On 30 September the Provincial University Coordination Committee also expressed a positive opinion on the project with some recommendations: the knowledge of the Italian and German languages should be valued in the entrance test; the level of knowledge of the three languages is increased during the degree course; a joint advisory commission periodically monitors the level of learning.
The total costs (teaching and administrative staff, administration services) are estimated at 723,070 euros for the year of activation of the 2022 course and of 2 million and 203,981 euros for the year of activation of the 2023 course.