Silvan Shalom at Safed medical school groundbreaking 311.
(photo credit: Courtesy)
The country’s fifth medical school will open in October with 127 new students in
two tracks on the Ziv Medical Center campus in Safed.
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The medical school,
the first to open in Israel since Ben-Gurion University’s Faculty of Health
Sciences in 1974, will train 200 much-needed physicians within four years at an
investment of NIS 130 million – giving a big boost to the Galilee and to nearby
hospitals where the students will undergo clinical instruction.
cornerstone for the new campus was laid Monday, in a ceremony attended by Negev
and Galilee Development Minister Silvan Shalom and Bar-Ilan University president
Prof. Moshe Kaveh, whose institution is sponsoring the academic
Shalom hailed the opening of a new medical school as an
“historic event. After 2000 years, we have established a medical school in Safed
that will be opening in the coming [academic] year.
“This will launch one
of the most important projects in the State of Israel today, one that will
create strategic change in the Galilee. It will create 5,000 more jobs directly
and tens of thousands more indirectly. Even today, the increase in real estate
values is felt, and this will continue” as living in the area becomes
He said the new educational facility will upgrade the region’s
whole economy and health services. The minister expects that the Safed region
and environs will get 300,000 more people in the next decade thanks to the
Kaveh said Bar-Ilan has succeeded in attracting 15
Israeli scientists who left to work in some of the leading universities in the
US and will soon return home.
All of the 127 first-year students have
already done some or all of their pre-clinical work elsewhere, including at
European medical schools, and so they will need to study for only three or four
years in Safed. Many of them are coming on full scholarship in return for a
commitment to work in northern hospitals after they graduate.
A total of
NIS 60 million has been invested in the first new structure on campus, plus NIS
70 million in advanced research labs that will be set aside for the work of
returning scientists and students. A total of NIS 550 million will be invested
in the whole campus at Ramat Razim, half from the state and the rest from
foreign donations. Kaveh promised to raise $200 million in matching funds over
five years for the medical school, which has national priority.
is the fifth public university to establish and run a medical school after the
Hebrew University, Tel Aviv University, the Technion- Israel Institute of
Technology and Ben-Gurion University.
The first track will be comprised
of 57 returning Israeli students who will soon complete pre-clinical studies in
Europe and who wanted to go to an Israeli medical school but were not admitted
here for lack of space; they will graduate in 2014. The other track will have 70
Israeli students who will complete their bachelor’s degrees here and abroad and
will need four years in Safed; they will graduate as doctors in 2015.
Safed medical school will be headed by Prof. Ran Tur-Kaspa, vice dean of Tel
Aviv University’s Sackler School of Medicine and an internist who is a liver
The first building will be renovated and expanded from a 1930s
structure that is part of Ziv and has not been used in recent years.
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