Ben-Gurion University of the Negev and Assuta Medical Centers signed an historic agreement earlier this week, in which the affiliation to BGU was announced. It was revealed that Assuta Medical Center in Ashdod, which will open its doors in June 2017, will be a University Medical Center while the Assuta Medical Center in Ramat Chayal will be affiliated and will train the next generation of doctors.
BGU President Prof. Rivka Carmi, on signing the agreement noted that this is the first affiliation in 43 years. She said, "This is undoubtedly an historic moment and an important milestone. We looked for a strategic partner that will allow us to develop and to increase the number of medical students in Israel, and found that Assuta Medical Centers meet all the required criteria. We have a common outlook with Assuta which will allow us to realize our vision while continuing to develop the health care system in the south."
Above: Chairman of Assuta Medical Centers Prof. Joshua (Shuki) Shemer and BGU President Prof. Rivka Carmi
The ceremony was attended by Chairman of Assuta Medical Centers Prof. Joshua (Shuki) Shemer; Dean of BGU’s Faculty of Health Sciences Prof. Amos Katz; Chairman of Maccabi Healthcare Services Prof. Moshe Revah; CEO of Assuta Medical Centers Prof. Ari Shamiss; CEO of Maccabi Healthcare Services Mr. Ran Saar and Mayor of Ashdod Dr. Yehiel Lasri. As part of the agreement, hospital departments will provide clinical teaching for BGU medical students while the University will provide academic appointments for hospital staff.
Chairman of Assuta Medical Centers, Prof. Shemer, said that "Assuta proud to take part in training the next generation of doctors and to allow them to learn from leading experts in Israel. The cooperation with Ben-Gurion University fulfils the vision of the hospital to become a teaching hospital and continuing to be a leader in the health care system. Approximately 100 thousand surgeries of all kinds (not including transplants) are carried out annually at Assuta Medical Centers, in addition to extensive and wide-ranging activities in other areas, including the largest IVF unit in Israel. The agreement will allow students to study and experiment in any field they want, and we intend to invest resources in teaching and in technology to ensure their success."
Dean of BGU’s Faculty of Health Sciences Prof. Amos Katz said, "The new collaboration is good news for the south, and will produce mutual benefits to both the University and to the most important factor - the students, and to Assuta Medical Centers, in particular in Ashdod." Prof. Katz added that the Faculty aims to increase the number of medical students and health professionals, while retaining high quality, scientific, personal and individual teaching. "To this end,” he stressed, “There is a need for teaching facilities, that is, more quality affiliated hospitals that can train future doctors in the spirit of the vision of BGU’s Faculty of Health Sciences."