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Rīga Stradiņš University (RSU) recently became a shareholder in Liepāja Regional Hospital in order to improve the quality of healthcare services, promote the attraction of human resources to Liepāja and strengthen the long-term cooperation between Liepāja City Municipality and Rīga Stradiņš University (RSU).

RSU Rector Prof. Aigars Pētersons met with the Deputy Chairman of City Development and Cooperation at the Liepāja City Council, Gunārs Ansiņš, and the Chairman of the Board of Liepāja Regional Hospital, Edvīns Striks, on 5 September this year to discuss the long-term cooperation between the two institutions, which envisages the establishment of an RSU clinical training centre for studies and research at the hospital.


From the left: Deputy Chairman of Liepāja City Council Gunārs Ansiņš, RSU Rector Prof. Aigars Pētersons, and Chairman of the Board of Liepāja Regional Hospital Edvīns Striks during the meeting.

‘Rīga Stradiņš University’s cooperation with regional hospitals follows the long-term development strategy of the university. By establishing clinical training centres outside of Riga we are expanding students’ opportunities to acquire practical skills and competences. In this way RSU helps hospitals and the entire practical healthcare system to fill vacancies. Everyone is a winner - the university, students, the hospital, the municipality and patients,’ said Prof. Pētersons, adding that he sees great potential in this cooperation with Liepāja.

‘This cooperation is a significant, important, and a step that looks forward. It provides a solid foundation for the future of the health care sector, not only for the residents of Liepāja, but for all inhabitants of the Kurzeme region. Due to the current shortage of medical specialists in certain fields in Latvia, the cooperation with RSU is a solid guarantee that Liepāja Hospital will be able to attract new professionals more successfully in the future. This would not only increase the availability of services, but also improve healthcare in general,’ explained Gunārs Ansiņš, Deputy Chairman of Liepāja City Council.

This academic year, approximately 120 medical students from RSU will go to Liepāja Hospital as part of their cycle of surgery, cardiology, and anaesthesiology adding to the 29 students who already underwent their summer placements there. RSU residents also have a cooperation agreement with Liepāja Hospital - next autumn, a clinical training centre for sixth-year students will be established at Liepāja Hospital that will allow for more efficient preparation for their residency. RSU investments will facilitate the opening of classrooms and RSU would also like to develop simulation facilities for students and residents. In the future, is is planned that prospective dentists will also be able to do placements in Liepāja.

The implementation of the Human Resources Development Plan of the Ministry of Health requires RSU support for the regions. Together with Liepāja City Council, RSU has therefore started to work on proposals for the improvement of residency studies in order to attract more young doctors to the regions.

RSU is developing a network of teaching hospitals involving not only Pauls Stradiņš Clinical University Hospital, Riga East Clinical University Hospital, and the Children’s Clinical University Hospital, but also the largest regional hospitals. The university has become a shareholder in North Kurzeme Regional Hospital and Daugavpils Regional Hospital, as well as signed a cooperation agreement with Vidzeme Hospital in Valmiera.

RSU is developing cooperation plans with leading clinics not only in Latvia, but also abroad. On 3 April 2019, RSU signed a cooperation agreement with Bar-Ilan University and Ziv Medical Center in Israel for clinical practice in orthopaedics. While, on 20 September 2018, RSU signed an agreement with Azienda Sanitaria di Bolzano, a hospital in the city of Bolzano, northern Italy, to establish a training centre for RSU. In 2017, a similar centre was set up at the Lukaskrankenhaus Academic Training Hospital of the city of Neuss, Germany. RSU also cooperates with Asklepios Medical School in Hamburg and St. Franziskus-Stiftung Münster Fund. Closer cooperation with Helios Klinikum Berlin-Buch in Germany and several Scandinavian clinics is planned.