Federation of French-speaking students satisfied with suspension of federal quotas in medicine entry examinations
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    Federation of French-speaking students satisfied with suspension of federal quotas in medicine entry examinations

    The Federation of French-speaking Students (FFS) is satisfied by the Council of State’s decision considering federal quotas to be illegal. Now the FFS is expecting “courageous and responsible decisions” from the federal Minister for Public Health, Maggie De Block (of the Open VLD) and from the Minister of the Wallonia-Brussels Federation for Higher Education, Jean-Claude Marcourt (of the PS).

    Yesterday (Tuesday), the Council of State suspended the new system for selection to medical and dentristry studies. These have been applied throughout this year in the Wallonia-Brussels Federation.

    They have been used as a means to respond to the federal quota system for practitioners. This has also been called into question by the Court of Cassation.

    The verdict is applauded by the FFS which “never stops pounding out that federal quotas merely serve to aggravate the lack of doctors.” The federation indicated this in a communiqué disseminated yesterday evening. “The FFS states that it is absurd to reduce access to studies leading to an occupation in which there is currently a shortage in the Wallonia-Brussels Federation. This shortage has recently been acknowledged by Forem! [which specialises in employment and training in Wallonia, editor’s note]. More than one in two communes has a shortage of general practitioners. Over the next ten years, only half of retired doctors will be replaced,” the communiqué states.

    French-speaking students wish to see the system “reformed so as to offer quality health care which is accessible to all.” They are calling upon Mrs De Block to “remove the federal quota and to seriously consider an alternative plan.”

    “It would be unacceptable to postpone student selection for students who have already begun their courses at present. It is high time that students were no longer victims of a system which is as unjust as it is hazardous for our health care.” This is the concluding reaction of students.

    Oscar Schneider
    The Brussels Times