President Shimon Peres and Health Minister Yaakov Litzman spoke Monday at the opening ceremony for Israel’s newest medical school in Tzfat, set to start classes in 2011. The school will help prevent a shortage of doctors while aiding in the development of the Galilee.
“This [newest and] fifth medical school will do for Israel what high-tech did,” Peres said, according to Walla. “It’s time to fundraise for the new school.”
The Israeli President is one of the people most responsible for the initiative to establish a new Israeli medical school in the Galilee. His advisor, Yoram Raviv, helped push the idea through the Higher Education Board in 2007, leading the government to adopt the proposal in January, 2009.
“I see the medical school as a way of bringing medical minds back to Israel,” Litzman added at the conference. “We have to make sure that the Galilee and this school will be attractive to our best minds.”
Currently Bar-Ilan University and the Technion are in competition to manage the new school, which will eventually be located on a sprawling campus in Tzfat.
Both bids include a new four-year medical track alongside the traditional seven-year Israeli medical track. The new track allows BA graduates to start a four-year medical program, as in the U.S.
The first four-year Israeli medical program starts this coming year with 40 students at the University of Tel Aviv. Medical schools hope the four-year track will encourage more students to become doctors.