Partnership Luz Saúde and Universidade Católica

Luz Saúde formalized this Friday, February 24, a partnership with Universidade Católica Portuguesa (UCP), Maastricht University and the Municipal Council of Cascais, for the creation of the first Medicine private course in Portugal, a project that Isabel Vaz, Luz Saúde CEO, classified «of national and international importance and dimension», therefore «being a great reason of pride for Luz Saúde Group». 

Cascais will receive the new Cascais Campus of UCP Faculdade de Ciências da Saúde (Faculty of Health Sciences), where the new Medicine course will operate, and nearby Luz Saúde will build the new university hospital of Cascais. «The new Hospital da Luz Cascais will operate in close articulation with the other units of Hospital da Luz network, particularly with Hospital da Luz Lisboa and Hospital da Luz Oeiras», clarified Isabel Vaz at the ceremony.

In the scope of this partnership, further revealed the Group CEO, Luz Saúde is making an investment of about 150 million Euros, including the construction of Cascais new unit and the enlargement of Lisbon and Oeiras units, already in place, which will create about 1200-1500 new jobs. The opening of these new units will be phased, between 2017 and mid-2019, said Isabel Vaz, stressing the fact that Luz Saúde counted «right from the beginning of the process with the support of its shareholder, Fidelidade company».

The new Hospital da Luz Cascais, with features of a general hospital, will have an emergency service, a surgical unit and 50 beds, besides an imaging centre equipped with the latest technology. And it will count with the support of Hospital da Luz Learning Health, the education, research and innovation centre which materializes the investment of Luz Saúde in clinical research, education and continuing development of health professionals, in technology and innovation, declared Isabel Vaz at the ceremony, which took place at Cascais Cultural Centre.

The protocols between the four partners were signed by Luz Saúde CEO, Isabel Vaz, the Universidade Católica rector, Isabel Capeloa Gil, the dean of the Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences of Maastricht University, Albert Scherpbier, and by the president of Cascais Municipal Council, Carlos Carreiras. The ceremony counted also with the presence of the Secretary of State for Health, Manuel Delgado, representing the Portuguese government.

For the UCP rector, «this is an ambitious and risky project», but «winning and innovating, which was dreamed of for 30 years» by Universidade Católica. «We move forward now, securely and with great confidence in our partners», she highlighted, revealing that the course will be administered in English, because it is destined to a «global target public», but receiving a limited number of students, in order to ensure academic and scientific quality. 

On the other hand, the president of Cascais Municipal Council, Carlos Carreiras, who opened the ceremony, stated that «this day marks a turning point in the history of these four institutions». «Here, we will bring together teaching and academic research of excellence, the providing of healthcare of excellence and a place of excellence where to live», he said, referring to the two universities, Luz Saúde and Cascais municipality.

Finally, the Secretary of State for Health, Manuel Delgado, in a defiant manner, reminded the «high level of exigency and quality of medical education in Portugal», adding that «this consortium now established is certainly prepared to leave a mark, contributing for the high quality of education already existing in Portugal». «My presence here is a sign of our support to innovative investments», he said, concluding: «We await serenely for the conclusion of this process, without compromising, but with empathy. All these institutions are worthy of respect. We are curious. We wish you great success.»

This partnership now formalized gives start to the launching of the application academic and scientific process for the first Medicine private higher education course, which will have to be evaluated and approved by the Agency for Evaluation and Accreditation of Higher Education (Agência de Avaliação e Acreditação do Ensino Superior – A3ES). «The homologation of courses, after submission of the process to A3ES, takes about one year. We don’t have a schedule to present that submission», stated the UCP rector to the journalists, at the end of the ceremony.