After due pressure, the government recently announced that the intake of nursing students (Dip.Nursing and BSc Nursing courses) this year will not be restricted by numerus clausus but extended to all eligible applicants.
To do this the government had to perform various adjustments in order for the university and health services to
have enough capacity to train them. The call for applications had been preceded by a modest campaign to encourage young and mature students to take up nursing as a career.
The whole exercise should not stop here. The same should be done for all kinds of hospital medic, paramedic, and ancillary staff. Even the course leading to a doctor’s degree should be rid of numerus clausus . Students who end up getting grade C’s in their A’levels should still be given the opportunity to study for an M.D. degree because with hard work and dedication they too can pass exams and become good doctors. This has happened in the past. The moderate students are also more likely to remain in service in Malta after they graduate in contrast with the high-fliers who tend to leave their country and continue their careers abroad. The necessary investment to increase the student capacity for the M.D. course is a worthwhile investment and is part of the solution to our under-staffed national health service.