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    The Malta Medical Students’ Association (MMSA) expressed its concern about the news regarding the setting up of a new Barts medical school in Gozo.

    The MMSA welcomes the fact that Barts Medical School is known for its excellence in the teaching of medicine and surgery and agrees that it would be an asset to the country’s teaching resources.

    However, the main concern of medical students at this point is that the introduction of this medical school on the island of Gozo may directly affect their daily learning experience, which may already be compromised by the increasing number of students admitted to the medical course.

    The MMSA represents all 700 medical students at the University of Malta, a number which has approximately doubled over the decade.

    More than 300 of these students attend hospital wards on a daily basis as part of the clinical experience. This number of students is a significant number, considering that Mater Dei hospital has less than a thousand beds in total and is the main teaching hospital in the country.

    We are also aware of the fact that despite the investment which is proposed for the improvement of the General Hospital in Gozo, this may not be enough to accomodate the medical students admitted in the new medical school. This will in turn put more pressure on the teaching resources at Mater Dei Hospital which is the only hospital in Malta which

    offers experience in certain specialised medical and surgical fields, which in turn are an essential prerequisite for the successful completion of a medical degree course.

    There is also concern to whether requirements to enter the two medical schools will be different to each other and if this would affect the current entry requirement of the UoM Medical School.

    Ten months ago, the MMSA has already held a talk with the Ministry for Health about the Memorandum of Understanding signed with Queen Mary University of London (QMUL). During the meeting, we discussed the possibility of a new medical school in this country.

    In light of this, the MMSA invites the respective authorities to discuss how these changes will affect current medical students studying in Malta and how new students will be integrated into the medical course, without putting strain on the medical teaching resources being offered in the country.

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