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Albania Medical Students Protest Over Obligation to Stay in Country


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Albanian Medicine students started the new academic year with protests and boycott over a new governmental decision that conditions them to work five years in the country before getting the diplomas.

Medical students have opposed the law since it was in the preparation phase, and on Monday said the contract supposed to be signed between students and institutions – which would not allow them to leave the country for five years – has not been made public.

“We do not consider it right to sign this contract, it is neither in accordance with our interests nor would it serve the health system in the country,” one protesting student told the media.

As well as students, education organisations have also opposed the law, deeming it a “populist – communist law”.

The government decision is designed to prevent the mass emigration of medical students from the public university, who for years have left to work in Europe, especially Germany, soon after getting their degrees.

The plan has been public for some months, but was only passed in July. Prime Minister Edi Rama delivered the decision himself, wanting to send a “message”, while presenting it.

Rama said medicine it is not like all other professions as it also to do with the obligation of every state to provide healthcare for its citizens, and the right of citizens to access healthcare.

“Every medical student who enters the University of Medicine will have to first familiarize himself with the fact that medicine has as many studies’ years as there are, and then in order to be equipped with a diploma, must spend five years in the service of this people,” Rama said.

The PM added that everyone wanting to study medicine in Albania should fulfill this condition.

Students currently in the study process, if they want to leave, may now do so, but will have to pay a tax whose details will be made known in future.



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