Since March 2019, Moroccan medical students have been protesting against the poor conditions of medical training.
The two ministries signed an agreement with student representatives from Moroccan medical schools on August 28, 2019. However, the government departments faced challenges in implementing certain clauses.
Coordination between the health and education ministries is expected to help them overcome the obstacles.
The ministries decided to partner up during a recent meeting between the General Secretary of the Ministry of Health and the General Secretary of the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research.
The meeting aimed to examine the implementation of the August 2019 agreement with the representatives of medical students.
According to a press release from the Ministry of Higher Education, all parties expressed satisfaction with the measures taken so far.
Student representatives viewed the revaluation of the indemnities paid to students in the final year of medical schools, who spend most of their final year assisting doctors in public hospitals, as a positive step.
Students have also welcomed the allocation of a budget dedicated to scholarships for medical students, as part of the National Office of Social and Cultural University Initiatives’ (ONOUSC) budget, the press release added.
Other amendments resulting from the agreement included changing the medical standards of education, renaming the examination for accessing dental schools from “national qualification examination” to “clinical examination of dental medicine,” and abandoning the grading system in medical diplomas.
The deans of the national medical schools presented the amendments to students’ representatives during the meeting so students can review them before they are published in Morocco’s Official Bulletin.
The Ministry of Health has decided to increase the annual number of doctors recruited from medical schools by 100. In 2020, the ministry is set to recruit 800 doctors under fixed-term contracts, and 50 more under permanent contracts.
Student representatives expressed their satisfaction with the move, the press release said.
The health ministry has also agreed to allocate more positions for freshly-graduated pharmacists, as well as to mobilize a budget for the rehabilitation of clinical training spaces for training dentists, and for the acquisition of the necessary equipment and tools, the press release concluded.
The August 2019 agreement came approximately six months after medical students began protesting and striking against poor medical training conditions and the government’s decision to privatize medical education and services.
Medical students decided to boycott final examinations, threatening a “blank year” in all medical schools.
The agreement, however, led students to lift their boycott and take exams in September 2019, before organizing more protests due to the government taking too long to meet their demands.