History of Higher Medical School

The High Medical School, providing two – year training courses, was established on March 28, 1988 with a Decision adopted by the Republic Community for Higher Education of the Republic of Macedonia as part of the “St. Kliment Ohridski” University in Bitola.
The need to establish a higher medical training school of this kind at the time was truly pronounced, due to the needs for the qualified healthcare personnel, educated in University setting. The existing conditions were favourable, the finances and all other real aspects that provided the grounds for forming such an institution in the geographical region where our story began.
The first 1988/89 academic year was marked by the single study program for nurses; the classes were held on the Clinical Hospital Bitola premises, which at that time were supplied with all the necessary equipment for holding higher education classes.
The first results generated zeal, notions and enthusiasm with all members included in the educational process. The understanding and the support given by the “St. Kliment Ohridski” University, the republic resource allocation bodies, the Macedonian Midwifes' and Nurses’ Association, the Hospital in Bitola, represented an additional impulse to strive forward.
The High Medical School continued to develop and grow with the second training program for midwifes  opened in 1991 / 1992 academic year, and with the training program for nurses in the primary healthcare sector in 1992 / 1993 academic year.
With these three training programs, the High Medical School in 2002/2003 transformed itself into an educational institution for health care workers, one of its kinds in the country, with a desire and zeal to expand its training programs further.
That is why in the 1996/1997 academic year, the Ministry of Education and Sports adopted a Decision to include a five – semester training program for laboratory analysts in the Institution’s curriculum.
With the amendments to the Law on Higher Education our Institution was transformed into a Higher Medical School. At the time we offered three – year studies, six – semester (180 ECTS) and all graduates attained a certification degree: certified medical nurse, certified midwifes and so on. With the implementation of European Credit Transfer System, three additional vocational study programs were also accredited: study program for nurses, study program for midwife and study program medical – laboratory analyst, all in accordance with the European directives for regulated professions.
The need for highly trained medical professionals in the fields of physiotherapy and radiology in Macedonia grew, so the Higher Medical School in Bitola initiated a procedure to accredit three – year vocational study programs for physiotherapists and radiology technicnologists. The two programs were implemented and enforced with a Decision adopted by the Ministry of Education 2007/2008.
Following the example set by the European Union and the rest of the world regarding the education of health care workers and having regard to the need of the health care institutions for qualified and highly trained personnel that will be capable of taking on the responsibility to perform more complex health care procedures, the Higher Medical School accredited two – semester specialization studies intended for  different profiles in separate health care areas.
The specialization programs for medical nurses were accredited with six specialization profiles, namely: mental health nursing, intensive care nursing, surgical nursing, primary healthcare and community nursing, oncology nursing, and gerontology and palliative nursing.
The specialization programs for  physiotherapists are:  rehabilitation in neurology, rehabilitation in psychiatry, rehabilitation in surgery, orthopaedics and traumatology, rehabilitation for children, and rehabilitation in home setting.
The specialization programs for medical – laboratory analysts include three specializations, namely: biochemical analysis, microbiological analysis and sanitary ecology.
Radiology technologists can specialize in CTM and MRI.
Midwifes can specialize in perinatal care, and primary healthcare.
In the last twenty five years, over 2900 students from all over the country and from the countries in the region have enrolled and graduated from the Higher Medical School in Bitola. Our students are now one of the best qualified health care workers in many well – known and acknowledged health care institutions all over Europe and the world, which is a confirmation of the quality of our educational training programs. They are our ambassadors all over the world and they are proof of the existence, quality and contemporary practical works in the field of health care education.
We are convinced that the generations that are professionally involved in our School fulfill their obligations toward the citizens of our country, respectfully and responsibly with a continuous development in all significant areas. We also believe that our results shall inspire all future generations to dedicate themselves more enthusiastically in order to ensure a further development of our institution and to transform the Higher Medical School into a Higher Educational Institution with an academic degree of education in the fields of health care in accordance with all European and worldly standards.
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