SENDAI (Kyodo) In a rare move, a hospital in Sendai said Wednesday it seeks to open a university medical school in hopes of easing a doctor shortage in the Tohoku region.

Sendai Kousei Hospital plans to open the medical school probably at Tohoku Fukushi University, also in Sendai. The envisioned facility would annually accept 80 to 100 students, around half of whom would be from the six Tohoku prefectures — Aomori, Akita, Iwate, Miyagi, Yamagata and Fukushima.

The government has not authorized establishment of a new medical school since 1979, when it gave approval to the University of the Ryukyus in Okinawa.

According to the education ministry, hospitals have not made any moves to open a new medical school.

A Sendai Kousei Hospital official said it hopes to accept students within two years.

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