The Malta Medical Students’ Association (MMSA) is pleased that work is being done to increase the number of posts being offered in the Maltese Foundation Programme. This news was announced during a meeting held between the MMSA and the Parliamentary Secretary for Health, Chris Fearne.
This two-year Foundation Programme was officially set up in Malta in 2009 as an affiliated programme with the UK. It is an obligatory programme that provides all newly-graduated doctors with the necessary internship training that they need to obtain their warrant to practice medicine and further their studies in the field.
The MMSA called the meeting in light of the increasing number of students being admitted into the medical course, with next October’s admissions reaching a total of over 200 students.
“We are concerned that a lot of medical students will find it difficult to pursue their studies in Malta once they finish the final year of the medical course,” the MMSA said. “Only 100 posts are available each year in Malta’s Foundation Programme. Therefore, a lot of medical students have to either pursue their studies abroad or skip a year altogether and reapply for the Foundation Programme in the following year.”
“Malta’s Foundation Programme needs to offer more internship posts.”
Chris Fearne explained that negotiations are underway between Malta and the UK to increase the posts being offered. “While the exact numbers are still being negotiated, this initiative will improve the opportunities available to medical students and junior doctors here in Malta,” Fearne said. “This will allow more students to pursue this obligatory training on the island.”
“We will soon conduct a study with our members in the coming months, in order to obtain information on where they want to pursue their studies once they graduate,” the MMSA said. “This information will then be passed on to the relevant authorities so as to aid the ongoing negotiations.”