Ruins in Ukraine

Israel tells medical students studying in Ukraine to return to campus there

Israeli medical schools unwilling to accept students after years of study in war-torn country; Health Ministry says if in-person study not possible, students can apply elsewhere; one student says after 5-years of studies, feels helpless, demands ministry provide solution

Adir Yanko |
Published: 08.24.22, 21:58
The Health Ministry on Wednesday, told Israeli medical students studying in Ukraine, to continue their studies there, despite the ongoing war.
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  • Hundreds of Israeli student returned left Ukraine after the war broke out in adherence with Foreign Ministry's recommendations calling on citizens to leave that country for their personal safety.
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    נזקי הפגזה שהרסה מלון ב בחמוט מחוז דונייצק חבל דונבאס אוקראינה מלחמה רוסיה
    נזקי הפגזה שהרסה מלון ב בחמוט מחוז דונייצק חבל דונבאס אוקראינה מלחמה רוסיה
    Ruins in Ukraine
    (Photo: Retuers)
    Many of these students still have years of studies ahead of them before qualifying, and a sudden relocation may jeopardize their careers.
    The ministry presented options for medical students, in a letter sent to one of them. Studying in Ukraine in their fourth, fifth and sixth years, have several options before them," the Health Ministry wrote. "Stay in Ukraine if possible, on the condition that the studies are continuous and in-person or move to an alternative university that is recognized by the ministry, if possible and if not then go to a university that is not recognized as an acceptable establishment for medical training, but after consulting with the ministry."
    As of 2026 Israel will no longer recognize the degrees obtained by medical studies from Ukraine, as well as several other counties. Many Israelis, who were unable to gain access to medical schools in Israel, because of the shortage of available place or failure to comply with the high qualification standards, have traveled to east European universities, some of whom have a curriculum compatible with the requirements of the Health Ministry.
    At this stage, none of the medical schools in Israel are accepting students wishing to transfer from Ukraine.
    Adi Pomerantz, a 27-year-old from Rishon LeZion, completed five years of medical studies in Ukraine and is currently working as a doctor's assistant at the Assuta Hospital in Ashdod. "I expected the war to end by now and that I would be able to return to university in Ukraine," she said.
    "The answer we're receiving is that we cannot study in the universities in Israel, so it seems that the Health Ministry is telling us to return to Ukraine - a country that is currently amid a war," she explains in frustration.
    2 View gallery
    עדי פומרנץ
    עדי פומרנץ
    Adi Pomerantz
    (Photo: Gadi Kablo)
    Pemerantz said she like many others, have fallen in the cracks and are left without an option to complete their medical training. She said she feels "helpless," and demands that the Health Ministry find a solution, especially given the fact that these medical students will "eventually return home and be part of the health system here."
    The ministry, in response, released a statement reinforcing their stance: "The Health Ministry has over the last few months, prepared a number of solutions for students who started their medical studies in Ukraine.
    "The Health Ministry will enable students who study in the war zones to move to other recognized medical schools in the world. failing that, they will be able to attend other medical schools which are not recognized, if they coordinate with the ministry."

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