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General Articles
Ariel University Medical Faculty: The Battle between the Government and Universities is Coming to a Head



Editorial Note

Yesterday, the Council for Higher Education (CHE) in Judea and Samaria turned around the decision held last week by the Planning and Budgeting Committee (PBC) of the CHE blocking the establishment of the Ariel University Medical Faculty.  Dr. Avichai Mandelblit, the Attorney General, said that the PBC vote was not binding and that the issue could be brought to the CHE Judea and Samaria for a vote. In a short time, though, the CHE Judea and Samaria is due to join the main council. Mandelblit stated that the required next step is for the general assembly of the CHE to vote on the issue. 


The PBC vote last week voided its previous decision in 2018, to give the go-ahead for Ariel University Medical Faculty after it was determined that Dr. Rivka Wadmany-Shauman was in a conflict of interest. She voted to back the proposal while negotiating a position at Ariel University. As a consequence, the PBC has held another vote and aborted the Ariel plan.  Naftali Bennett, the Minister of Education and the Chair of the CHE, stated in response that he "does not intend to give up" and that "he will fight the university cartel until the establishment of the medical faculty."


In Israel, sixty percent of the new physicians who receive a license have studied abroad, some of them in institutions with a lower level of training than in Israel. The number of doctors in Israel per 1,000 residents is significantly lower than the OECD average. However, for many years, universities have objected to increasing the number of students in their faculties, claiming that there is a shortage of clinical fields - departments in hospitals where training takes place. Until recently, the issue of clinical fields had been ungoverned, and no systematic mapping had been carried out. A critical report by the State Comptroller on the subject led the CHE to make a mapping, and the work is close to completion. In this regard, Ariel has already agreed with hospitals that the training will be carried out and stressed that this will not come at the expense of the clinical fields of other universities. Ariel also stressed that since it already runs pre-medical studies at the university, it has about 40 suitable laboratories.


In December 2017, an evaluation committee was appointed by the Minister of Education, to ensure a high quality of study that meets international standards. Among the members of the committee were Prof. Arnon Afek of Sheba Medical Center at Tel Hashomer and the committee head, Prof. Haim Breitbart of Safed College, Prof. Shimon Glick, Prof. Ester Priel of Ben Gurion University and Prof. Yonatan Halevy of Shaare Zedek Medical Center. Bennett decided to set up a medical faculty in Ariel as part of a plan to expand the university at an investment of NIS 400 million, to build ten more buildings which multiply the built-up area of the university. "I am proud to continue the important process that we started about a year ago," the minister said. "The establishment of the new faculty in Ariel will enable more professional jobs, without compromising the quality of studies.”


IAM already reported in August 2018 about the debate within the Council of Higher Education (CHE) which is also political in nature. Professors Yossi Shain of TAU; Mouna Maroun of Haifa U; and Yeshayahu Talmon of the Technion, strongly criticized Bennett, accusing him of dictating decisions to the committee using "extraneous considerations” and not following proper procedures. The three protested Bennett's decision to allow the Interdisciplinary Center to grant Ph.D.; to establish a medical faculty at the Ariel University paid by the billionaire Sheldon Adelson; and to appoint his own people as public representatives to the PBC, such as Adv. Zvi Hauser and CPA Shimon Yitzhaki.  

The PBC member Prof. Yeshayahu Talmon of the Technion was quoted as saying "there is an ongoing process of blatant political interference in the conduct of the PBC." According to him, "all the new PBC members have been appointed by Bennett and now his supporters have a majority of 4 to 3 who vote according to what he wants, and they can pass any decision they want. The democracy has pretty self-destructive tools and this is one of them." Talmon said that the process began with the approval of the Interdisciplinary Center to award doctoral degrees "when the PBC was bypassed" and went on in the argument concerning Yitzhaki's appointment "when the minister's vote impacted the vote of the Council." According to him, there are difficult questions that were not answered regarding the establishment of the Medical Faculty, including whether there are enough places for clinical training. An unnamed source at the PBC said that "right-wing billionaire Sheldon Adelson is a contributor to the IDC and Ariel University."


The opponents to the Ariel plan, the Deans of the other universities medical schools, announced that if the Ariel Medical Faculty does not open, they shall raise the number of new students in the upcoming year by 70 - the number Ariel is supposed to train. In their letter, they accused the PBC of blocking their initiative to increase the number further.   Ariel University responded: "We are pleased that following the Ariel plan to open medical studies in the coming academic year in October 2019, the veteran medical schools have awakened and are now ready to increase the number of students. This is after years of explaining why this can not be done, as the Director General of the Ministry of Health, the State Comptroller and the Director General of the PBC said. "   


The PBC spokesperson rejected the allegations: “In total contradiction to what has been claimed, the decision-making process regarding the Ariel medical school was thorough, deep and flawless. The first decision on the matter was adopted in November 2017. The plan was examined by a committee of experts... that unequivocally recommended establishing the school at a meeting that lasted about three hours and that was devoted only to the subject, and which was conducted according to the procedure."  The claims of partial information are not correct, said the statement. "Prof. Zilbershats is determined to act with full force to solve the doctor training crisis and no background noise will deter her from that important goal.”  The statement added that the PBC “is working with the Health Ministry to arrange the matter of clinical fields as soon as possible.” It also announced that “there is no political intervention in the work of the committee... decisions are made solely in a businesslike fashion and for the benefit of the higher education system.”


The elected Dean to the proposed Ariel Medical Faculty is Prof. Shai Ashkenazi, until recently Chairman of the Scientific Council of the Israel Medical Association, who serves as a senior physician at Schneider Children's Hospital, and the chairman of the Israel Association of Pediatrics. He noted that devising the curriculum for the Ariel medical program is close to completion.  "More than once, newspapers wrote that this school was opened in a haste, but the truth is that the first meeting of the steering committee was held on May 19, 2014, more than four years ago. We consulted with Deans in the United States and built an advanced curriculum." Ashkenazi states that "Ariel University was not in any conflict of interest, and the attempts to make this claim were intended to prevent the advancement of the school, which is vital in light of the acute shortage of doctors who have completed their medical studies in Israel." This is the first time Ashkenazi is serving as Dean, but he has more than forty years of experience in medical school management teams.


Health economist Prof. Gabi Ben-Nun of Ben-Gurion University, who headed a committee that examined the needs of personnel in the health system, said that "Due to the shortage of medical doctors, there is a place for establishing another faculty. An opening of a faculty does not give an answer to tomorrow, because the training of a doctor takes seven to eight years and more years of internship, but those who look ahead must plan far, and in this respect, the opening of this faculty is an important step."

IAM shall report on the developments in due course.





It's final:

Ariel University Medical School to be established

Council of Higher Education in Judea and Samaria unanimously approves new medical school after long battle.

Arutz Sheva Staff, 13/02/19 20:44

The Council of Higher Education in Judea and Samaria approved Wednesday the establishment of the Faculty of Medicine at Ariel University.

The proposal to establish the medical school was approved unanimously.

The decision to bring the subject to the approval of the Council for Higher Education in Judea and Samaria, a branch of the Main Council for Higher Education in Israel, was made by Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit, in a legal opinion published earlier.

The Main Council for Higher Education's Planning and Budgeting Committee had recently voted down its own previous approval of the medical school, claiming that one of the voting members had a conflict of interest, but Mandelblit said that this negative vote was not binding and that the issue could be brought to the Judea and Samaria branch for a decision. The Judea and Samaria branch is slated to join the main council within a short time.

The establishment of the Faculty of Medicine in Ariel was promoted by the Minister of Education and Chairman of the Council for Higher Education, Naftali Bennett, and received the approval of an external committee composed of independent professionals.

Education Minister Naftali Bennett expressed his satisfaction with the decision. "I am glad that the CHE has made the right decision to benefit of the State of Israel. There is a serious shortage of doctors in Israel, and there is a need to establish a faculty - and there is a university that is suitable to do so. This is the right thing to do for academia, the medical world and the Israeli public."

"All along, the university 'cartel' tried to do everything possible to put spokes in the wheels and thwart the establishment of the faculty in order to avoid one thing: competition. The good of Israel overcame the small politics of the university 'cartel'."

A senior official at the Education Ministry added, "It is unbelievable how much the university cartel tried to do everything possible to put a spoke in the wheels of competition and thwart the move."

"This coming November the first students will begin," the source said.



Jerusalem Post  Israel News
The Yesha Council accused the Council of Higher Education of “damaging the future of Israel’s medicine.”

The future of Israeli healthcare took a blow on Thursday when the Council for Higher Education voted against the establishment of a medical school at Ariel University.

“This was to be an essential and critical component in increasing the number of medical students in Israel,” said Deputy Health Minister Yaakov Litzman regarding the decision.

According to the Israel Medical Association, Israel faces a severe healthcare crisis, largely due to a lack of both licensed medical personnel and training vacancies for students.

“It is inconceivable that more than half of Israel’s medical graduates come from abroad in schools that are not always satisfactory,” Litzman said.

Thursday’s vote undoes a previous decision made by the council’s Planning and Budgeting Committee in July 2018, when it voted 4-2 to establish the medical school at Ariel University, which is in the West Bank’s Area C – under Israeli civil and military control.

Six months later in December, Deputy Attorney General Dina Zilber ordered a re-vote due to an alleged conflict of interests. One of the members of the committee, Dr. Rivka Wadmany Shauman, had originally voted in favor of establishing the faculty of medicine at Ariel University – even though she was a candidate to teach at the institution as part of the teacher training program.

Education Minister Naftali Bennett lashed out at Thursday’s decision, stating that he intends to “fight the university cartel until we establish the Faculty of Medicine at Ariel University.

“Israel is crying out for doctors, and [the committee is] holding it back,” he continued.

The Yesha Council accused the Council of Higher Education of “damaging the future of Israel’s medicine.”


The Adelson School of Medicine 
Mission statement

The Dr. Miriam and Sheldon G. Adelson School of Medicine at Ariel University was established in August 2018 and will begin accepting medical students in the academic year which will open in October 2019. During the last 4-years of intensive preparation, we have designed an advanced education program that will empower our students with comprehensive knowledge both in medical sciences and clinical medicine to ensure that our graduates will deliver total patient care. Our integrative learning will highlight personalized medicine, robotics, digitalized medicine and evidence-based decision making. Our graduates will be curious, research-oriented, persistent learners and with excellent communication skills.

The medical school is based on four years of post-graduate studies. The first year includes courses in basic medical sciences such as anatomy, physiology, clinical microbiology, clinical immunology, epidemiology, clinical pharmacology; a special emphasis is given to comprehensive courses in translational bioinformatics, using big data, clinical molecular biology and human genetics. As medical knowledge constantly expands, education in self-learning is of prime importance and is given a prime emphasis in our program. To enhance excellent communication skills, educational exposure to patients and medical scenarios will be initiated from the early stages of medical education.

The second year at the medical school includes integrative teaching of the body systems in health and disease. The clinical and basic science-related aspects of body systems – such as the gastrointestinal tract, cardiovascular system, infection and immunity, etc. – will be highlighted. The third and fourth years are devoted to hands-on clinical studies, based on small-group bed-side exposure in hospital departments and in the community.


Studies in The Adelson Pre-Med Program

The syllabus of the Adelson Family Foundation Pre-Med Program, at Ariel University in Samaria, is designed to give the student the tools to continue his clinical studies, to practice medicine and the health professions in the 21st century, and to expose the student to a range of topics which will enable him, if he so desires, to continue his studies to a second and third degree in medical research, and/or the development of medical and health technology. In fact, the program's graduates undergo training adapted to one of three courses:

  1. Continuation of studies in medical schools, in four–year courses in Israel and abroad. Students who study for a first degree in pre-med, can, afterwards, continue their medical studies (M.D.) in four-year programs at Tel Aviv and Bar Ilan Universities, and abroad – all, of course, based on their grades, and passing the G.R.E. examination. It is important to emphasize that the program includes, inter alia, seven core courses, of the required scope and composition.
  2. Students who prefer to continue on a research track, can continue to further degrees in medical sciences and biology.
  3. There is a third possibility open to the graduates of the Adelson Family Foundation Pre-Med Program at Ariel University, namely to join the research laboratories of companies dealing in medical sciences and biology.

In Israel and abroad, there are two main tracks for training doctors in medical schools:

  1. The six-year course – those admitted to this course are high school graduates who meet the entrance requirements. These students study straight through, until they receive their M.D. degree.
  2. The four-year course – this is a shortened course of medical studies, designed for first degree graduates, who, as part of their degree, studied the seven core subjects, required to be accepted for medical studies, and whose average in their degree and in the G.R.E. examination meets the entrance requirements.
  3. The course to which first degree graduates are admitted, who meet the entrance requirements, and who, in their first degree have studied the core subjects required for admission – to the pre-med program.

During the last fifteen years Ariel University has developed teaching and research courses, in fields touching the subjects studied in the fundamental medical sciences, for the doctor's activity relates also to aspects of sociology, anthropology, ethics, economics, the structure of the health system, etc. Therefore, in accordance with the university's vision of training a person with broad horizons, in parallel to courses in biology and/or health sciences, there is teaching and research in social sciences, that touch the fundamental medical sciences: behavioral sciences and psychology, sociology and social work, etc.

 06 February 2017 



הפסד לבנט: ות"ת הצביעה נגד הקמת בית הספר לרפואה באריאל
לאחר שהיועמ"ש חייב את הוועדה לתכנון ותקצוב של המועצה להשכלה גבוהה לדון בשנית בהקמת בית הספר, הכריעו רוב חבריה לדחות את ההחלטה הקודמת ■ בנט: "אלחם בקרטל האוניברסיטאות"

ליאור דטל רוני לינדר
07.02.2019 13:00 עודכן ב: 16:45

הוועדה לתכנון ותקצוב של המל"ג דנה היום (ה') שנית בהחלטה לאשר את הקמת בית הספר לרפואה באוניברסיטת אריאל, לאחר שהיועמ"ש חייב אותה לעשות זאת, מאחר שההצבעה הראשונה היתה נגועה בניגוד עניינים. בהצבעה היה רוב של שלושה נגד הקמת בית הספר ושני חברים תמכו בה.

מדובר בהפסד משמעותי לשר החינוך ויו"ר המל"ג נפתלי בנט, שקידם את הקמת בית הספר במועצה להשכלה גבוהה.

כעת, הדיון על הקמת הפקולטה הרפואה החדשה באריאל, חוזר לדיון אצל היועץ המשפטי לממשלה אביחי מנדלביט. זאת, לאחר שבאוניברסיטה כבר הכריזו על הקמת בית הספר ועל פתיחת מסלול ללימודי רפואה.

ההחלטה על הקמת בית הספר התקבלה ביולי 2018 על ידי הוועדה לתכנון ותקצוב של המועצה להשכלה גבוהה על חודו של קול. השבוע הודיעו המשנים ליועץ המשפטי לממשלה עו"ד רז נזרי ועו"ד דינה זילבר, על ביטול ההחלטה, בגלל ניגוד עניינים של חברת הוועדה ד"ר רבקה ודמני, שהצביעה בעד הקמת בית הספר. זאת, לאחר שהתברר שכמה חודשים לאחר שתמכה בהחלטה, קיבלה מהאוניברסיטה תואר פרופ' וכי בתקופה שבה הוות"ת דנה בהצעה, היתה ודמני מועמדת להצטרף כחברת סגל לאוניברסיטה.
ודמני, המקורבת לבנט, נבחרה על ידו לתפקיד סגנית יו"ר המל"ג ב-2016 וכיהנה בתפקיד במשך כשנה. כפי שפורסם ב-TheMarker גם מבקר המדינה בודק את התנהלות המועצה בתקופת כהונתו של שר החינוך בנט כיושב הראש שלה. 

לפי היועמ"ש, מבדיקת התנהלותה של ודמני עולה כי אם היתה מודיעה על כך שהיא נגועה בניגוד עניינים ולא היתה משתתפת בהצבעה - ההחלטה היתה נדחית. מבירור שנערך בלשכת היועמ"ש עולה כי בסוף 2017 פנה אל ודמני רקטור אוניברסיטת אריאל והציעה לה להשתלב בסגל בית הספר במסלול שיקנה לה גם תואר פרופסור, אך ודמני לא הודיעה על כך למל"ג. למרות שודמני לא הועסקה עד כה על ידי האוניברסיטה, היא העניקה לה תואר פרופסור בנובמבר האחרון, כמה חודשים לאחר ההצבעה בה אושרה הקמת בית הספר לרפואה.

ודמני מכהנת כחברת מל"ג מאז 2012 וב-2017 מונתה גם להיות חברה בות"ת. ב-2016 היא מונתה על ידי בנט לתפקיד סגנית יו"ר המל"ג למרות ביקורת על מינויה לתפקיד ללא תואר פרופסור והיא כיהנה בתפקיד עד למארס 2017.

בכיר במשרד הבריאות תקף את החלטת המל"ג במילים קשות ואמר ל-TheMarker כי "זו החלטה אומללה ונעדרת בסיס ענייני שמנותקת מהצרכים של מערכת הבריאות לטווח המיידי ובוודאי לטווח הארוך". לדבריו, "אי אפשר לקבל מציאות שבה כ-60% אחוז מהרופאים בישראל יהיו בוגרי חו"ל, חלק גדול מהם ממוסדות בהם רמת ההוראה ירודה ובטח על רקע הצמצום שמתבצע כעת בפקולטות לרפואה בחו"ל בהן ניתן יהיה ללמוד. הצורך העולה ברופאים לאור הזדקנות האוכלוסייה והגידול באוכלוסיה רק מדגיש את האבסורד"

האם זה אומר שצריך לאשר פקולטה שקמה על בסיס הליך כל כך פגום?

"אנחנו לא מתעסקים בפן המשפטי של התהליך אלא ברמה האקדמית של הפקולטה. בחנו את תוכנית הלימודים ואת השדות הקליניים (בתי החולים בהם מתקיימת ההוראה הקלינית - ר.ל)  והגענו למסקנה שהם ברמה נאותה ושההוראה שתינתן באריאל תהיה נאותה ומספקת. יש קונצנזוס במערכת הבריאות שחייבים להגדיל את מספר הסטודנטים לרפואה בארץ, ושהפקולטה החדשה לרפואה חיונית".

"לימודי הרפואה באריאל ייפתחו כמתוכנן"

ההחלטה להקים את בית הספר לרפואה באריאל התקבלה למרות התנגדות חריפה של שאר בתי הספר לרפואה באוניברסיטאות, שטענו כי הצעד יוביל "לפגיעה משמעותית ביכולת הפקולטות הקיימות לתת הכשרה קלינית ראויה".

הקמת בית הספר לרפואה באוניברסיטת אריאל קודמה על בנט, והיא חלק מתוכניתו להרחיב באופן משמעותי את האוניברסיטה שבשומרון. לצורך הקמת בית הספר, השיגה האוניברסיטה תרומה משמעותית מאיש העסקים שלדון אדלסון. 

בנט מסר בתגובה: "אינני מתכוון לוותר, אלחם בקרטל האוניברסיטאות עד שנקים את הפקולטה לרפואה באוניברסיטת אריאל".

מאוניברסיטת אריאל נמסר: "הקמת הפקולטה לרפואה היא מהלך מרכזי בפתרון המשבר הלאומי במחסור ברופאים הלומדים בארץ. לצערנו נפלה ההחלטה היום משיקולים זרים. לימודי הרפואה יחלו כמתוכנן באוקטובר הקרוב ואנו בטוחים כי הגורמים המוסמכים לכך יתמכו במהלך חיוני וחוקי זה, כדי לאפשר קידום התהליך ללא מכשולים".


מתקדמים: מונתה ועדת בדיקה לתוכנית הרפואה באונ' אריאל


הוועדה תכלול שורת פרופסורים מובילים מעולם הרפואה בארץ • זאת במטרה לקדם את הקמת הפקולטה השישית בארץ בתחום

דן לביא פורסם ב: 29.12.2017 10:212
לאחר שהכריז על הקמת פקולטה לרפואה באריאל, מציג שר החינוך ויו"ר המועצה להשכלה גבוהה נפתלי בנט צעד נוסף: ועדת בדיקה שתבחן את תוכנית הלימודים. בתוך שנה צפויה להיות מוקמת הפקולטה בהתאם להמלצת הוועדה.
בנט החליט למנות ועדה לבדיקת התוכנית הארבע?שנתית ללימודי רפואה (‭M.D‬) בפקולטה לרפואה באוניברסיטת אריאל, וזאת בהמשך להחלטה של הוועדה לתכנון ותקצוב (ות"ת) של המל"ג לקידום הקמת הפקולטה - השישית במספר בארץ.
חברי הוועדה שנבחרו הם מהשורה הראשונה של עולם הרפואה בישראל, וזאת, לפי בנט, כדי להבטיח רמת לימודים גבוהה שעומדת בסטנדרטים בינלאומיים. עם חברי הוועדה נמנים פרופ' ארנון אפק מבית החולים שיבא בתל השומר, פרופ' חיים ברייטברט ממכללת צפת, פרופ' שמעון גליק ופרופ' אסתר פריאל מאוניברסיטת בן?גוריון ופרופ' יונתן הלוי מבית החולים שערי צדק.
בכתב המינוי שעליו חתום יו"ר מל"ג יו"ש, פרופ' עמוס אלטשולר, נכתב בין השאר כי פרופ' אפק ישמש ראש הוועדה וכי נוסף על רשימת הנושאים שדרושים בדיקה, כמו התאמת איכותה של תוכנית הלימודים ובדיקת סעיפי הקבלה, "הוועדה תבדוק כל נושא שלדעתה ראוי לבדיקה", לשון כתב המינוי.
נזכיר כי בנט החליט להקים פקולטה לרפואה באריאל כחלק מתוכנית להרחבת האוניברסיטה בהשקעה של כ?400 מיליון שקלים, בנייה של עשרה מבנים נוספים והכפלת השטח הבנוי של האוניברסיטה. "אני גאה להמשיך את התהליך החשוב שהתחלנו לפני כשנה", אמר השר, "הקמת הפקולטה באריאל תאפשר יותר תקנים, וזאת מבלי להתפשר על איכות הלימודים".

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