By 2030, the Belgian Armed Forces would like its medical component to make up 7% of all military personnel. To facilitate this, the army is attempting to attract new medical talent to its ranks, Le Soir reports.
The medical component of the Belgian Armed Forces provides medical support to all three components of the army: land, air, and navy. The Belgian Ministry of Defence regularly organises recruitment days in Belgium to convince medical students and graduates to continue their academic career within the army.
The Army maintains connections with leading Belgian medical universities, where they attempt to attract medical and nursing students to complete their training with the military. Unlike officers, recruits to the medical component complete their training with the civilian faculty of the military academy.
During the training of medical candidates with the army, students receive a salary from the military. Despite this, the selection criteria of the army remains strict. Students must pass their entrance examinations for their medical studies, but also selection tests set out by the Ministry of Defence.
Candidates must also pass a test in their first and second languages, for example In French then Dutch, as well as physical aptitude tests, and psychometric testing. Candidates must also commit to a minimum service with the army. If students leave after a short period of service, they will be forced to pay back part of the wages they received.
At a jobs day in Mons on 1 February, the military presented opportunities to students and future medical students, as well as graduates and nursing students, to partake in military paramedic training.
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According to Commander Michel Renotte, director of the Hainaut Province Defence Information Centre, positions are mostly for “emergency medical aid”, but there are also roles for soldiers who want to become ambulance workers or medical support soldiers.
The army will organise a new careers fair for future medical and dental science students, as well as graduates, on 4 March at the Neder-over-Heembeek military hospital.