Presentation - Libya Higher Education Forum

Report
Medical Studies &
Training:
Challenges and
Opportunities
LIBYA HIGHER EDUCATION FORUM 2014, LONDON
DR FATIMA HAMROUSH
MINISTER OF HEALTH IN THE TRANSITIONAL LIBYAN GOVERNMENT
Current Status in Libyan Primary
Healthcare System (End of 2012)

Total Number of Medical Doctors: 8280

Dental: 124

20 Doctors per 10,000 population.

6 dental doctors per 10,000 population.

Primary medical care centres:
Total number: medical centres 535, dispensaries: 37, central dental
clinics: 15, primary medical care units: 820
Average of 2.6 centre x 10,000 population
Current status in Libyan Hospital
Care:

Special Centres (Specialized Hospitals: cardiology, Paediatrics,
Gynae&Obstetrics, Ophthalmology, Plastic Surgery, Psychiatry): 26

Hospital Centres: 18

General Hospitals: 21

Rural Hospitals: 32

Total: 97

Total Number of Beds: 20689

38 beds per 10,000 Population.
Total Number of Medical and
dental Students (2012)

Medical: 25000

Dental: 9000

Nursing: 2500
To quote Dr Naeem: Too many students, poor equipment, no staff appraisal system, no
student exchange programmes, international exposure.

Planning/Management.

Required number of Medical Care Specialists vs. Population.

General Practitioners scheme.

Nursing and Paramedical Training.
In 2012:
A total number of 1000 Doctors, in different specialties, were granted
postgraduate education on government grants, and a total of 100
were Granted postgrad GP Education.
There are 12 universities in Libya with more than 500.000 students each
year in a population of 5.5 million.

In May 2012, a memorandum of understanding was signed
between Libya and UK&NI Ministers of Health, where an agreement
was made between the two countries to collaborate in Medical
care and medical training and education.

Similar MOUs are required with ROI.

However, MOU implementation…?
Opportunities/challenges for Libyans
for Higher Medical Education

Language (English/Arabic)- require language course.

As mentioned by Mr Salah Meto: 10 Libyan universities are already in
agreement with UK for teaching english, and yet, Libyan students are
still arriving to UK and ROI for English language courses and no other
arrangements. This reflects lack of communication between different
institutions, and thus: saving effort, money and time.

Government Education Grants / local training schemes.

Observer (sClinical skills?).

Clinical Attachment (require an GMC number).

Academic: Masters, PhD. (No Clinical skills)

Best: Training cycle: SHO, Registrar, SR, SpR, Consultant.
Medical Colleges In ROI

NUI, Galway.

RCSI.

Trinity College.

UCC (Cork).

UCD.

University of Limerick.

Entry requirements are obtained at each college individually.

Application for a place in the training programme is competitive.

Each training authority is able to clarify the work visa requirements to EU
applicants.
Available Medical Education Programmes
for Libyan nationals In Ireland:
Registration to the Medical Council is mandatory.

Newly Graduates: Postgraduate Cycle: 4 Years.

Senior Graduates: 2 years Fellowship in the appropriate specialty.
Registration to medical council is not required in:
PhD
Masters
Difficulties:

No agreement with Irish authorities re: Training Programmes, such as
with Sudan, Oman, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Emirates, India, Pakistan.

Libyan Medical students arrive unprepared, re: Medical Council
exams and registration.

Visa issues (arrival of students with study visas for language courses).

Education grants? (below minimal Wage).

Fairness of paid jobs?

The current turbulence in Libyan politics and the rapid changes of the
governments, hinders the continuity of many decisions made by the previous
authorities.

Any fees should be for undergraduates or non-clinical PostGrad studies,

Clinical PGs are expected to earn their living while learning and studying for PG.

In this forum, we are not discussing undergraduate educations, and we should
differentiate that from the scope of the arrival of the Libyan PG trainees.

In Libya 16,000 medical students with free tuition fees,

While almost the same number is sent for PG with further governmental grants.

Therefore:

a massive loss on both sides in resources due to inappropriate expenditure, in addition
to low standard of undergraduate education due to overcrowding

poorly planned PG education courses,

Lack of implementation of regulations etc,
and

further loss (financial and human resources)!
Suggestions:

Government to Government agreement re: education
programmes.

Role of Libyan Embassy, Culture Attaché to contact Irish Medical
Council for Agreement.

Application to the training scheme, or Fellowship Programme.

For the current students: urgent solution from Libyan embassy to
contact Ministry of Justice for extension of visas, provided proof of
continuing education is granted.
I reiterate Mr John Law’s points:

one major cause of the difficulties encountered is the Loss of key international
links.

Partnership.

Prepare the next generation of graduates.

Telemedicine, research training, etc...

Research collaboration.

Government to government agreements.

University to university.

System to system

Mobility.
Special Notes:

Due to the downturn of the economy in Ireland, many Irish trainees opt to
emigrate outside Ireland, leaving posts vacant and therefore, window for training
opportunity for Libyan Doctors.

Concept re: postgraduate medical training with/without government grant, pros
& cons.

Causes of Decisions of Libyan trainees to emigrate:

Security issues.

Low income in Libya vs high income elsewhere (the need to improve income in Libya
is crucial)

Social reasons.

Absence of contract between trainee and Libyan authorities re: return after
completion of postgrad education.

Grants for PGs takes away the competition factor and encourages the lack of
motivation for learning etc...

In Libya: Lack of CME accountability are all factors in the lack of innovation.

This should be improved once the country recovers and professional ethical
standards are reinstated.
Investment

Should be bilateral.

PG students for clinical Degrees should have paid jobs.

Only research PG degrees such as PhDs and Masters are fee-paid.

Also, PG exams are fee-paid.

Twinning between teaching hospitals, student exchange,
fellowships, teaching staff collaboration.
Take Home Message
“How to turn crisis into noble beginnings”
The funds allocated for the high education,
PG students are the future decision makers of the health care system.


The idea is not how to invest the funds that are allocated to the
students,
it is in how to invest in the future: Invest in the students.

These PGs are our investment, they are the decision makers for the
healthcare in the future in Libya and the bilateral collaboration.

The programme needs rethinking and re arranging with a broader
and longer sight for long term goals and gains.

The current political instability is detrimental to all decisions along with the lack of
accountability and lack of security...

For us to achieve our goals, the country has to have peace:
peace of the land and peace of mind.
Thank you

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