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National educational institutions short of over 400 medical staff

The national educational institutions reported a shortage of417 medical staff. This is about 16% of the necessary personnel. The salary that is lower than the one paid in the health system is one of the reasons why these specialists, primarily the young ones, do not want to work in schools and kindergartens, IPN reports.

According to data provided to RFE/RL’s Moldovan Service by the Ministry of Education and Research, 2,121 medical assistants with the first, second or superior category work in preschools, primary and secondary schools and special schools. Out of these, 969 work in schools, while 1,107 work in kindergartens. A number of 163 doctors work in the educational system, with 35 of them serving in schools, while 42 in nursery schools.

A medical assistant with higher education working in the educational system has a monthly salary of 5,880 lei, while an assistant with secondary education is paid 4,170 lei a month (without length of service and category). At the same time, the assistants in health facilities get pays of 7,460 to 11,020 lei, depending on the area and length of service.

The Ministry of Education said it would like to transfer the medical personnel of educational institutions under the responsibility of the Ministry of Health, arguing that these personnel are closer to the health system and would take part in training. At the beginning of summer, specialists from the two ministries discussed this possibility, but haven’t yet reached a consensus.

“They should be transferred under the Ministry of Health so as to follow the same continuous formation standards and go to continuous training centers. Training should center rather on their area – children’s health. We will yet have discussions. We realize that taking over more than 2,000 staff is a burden for the Ministry of Health too,” secretary of state of the Ministry of Education Nadejda Velishko told RFE/RL.

For his part, the Ministry of Health doesn’t see any reason why it should be responsible for the medical staff of educational institutions and considers that the salary of these specialists is actually the main problem. “We also have workers who do not have ties with the health sector, such as engineers, biologists and IT specialists, but we undertake to take care of this contingent. Respectively, we asked the Ministry of Education why it has neglected this area. When they increase the salaries of teachers, they ignore the medical assistants for the reason that these are part of the health system, but this is not so. In fact, the medical assistants from the educational system have other duties than the staff of medical institutions,” Marina Gîncu, senior consultant of the Ministry of Health’s Public Health Policy Division, stated for RFE/RL.

Asked how this year’s shortage of medical staff in educational institutions will be covered, the Ministry of Education said that this staff will be allowed to teach optional subjects related to education for health, will be able to attend free training courses and will have their offices equipped.

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