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No guidelines on doctors who miss part of internship

There are no intern training guidelines setting out the minimum requirements for completion of internship for doctors off sick, requiring remediation, or who have declared a disability, an internal HSE document has highlighted.

According to Modernisation of the National Intern Programme, a policy or guidelines are needed for when and how interns can be exited from intern training should they not achieve the minimum requirements.

“Currently, no such set of guidelines exists for either those interns who cannot carry out the full suite of intern duties or for those who must be exited from the training programme and so this is a proposed area for review,” outlined the document obtained by the Medical Independent (MI) under Freedom of Information law.

“We are aware that an intern must do 12 consecutive months to complete their internship. However, in recent years, we have been faced with many interns that cannot complete this requirement due to health issues or other personal issues. Also, several interns in recent times are taken off on-call duties by occupational health due to stress. But with a significant amount of learning while on-call, assessing an interns’ performance in situations where this is not possible does not give a full picture for their clinical abilities.”

A HSE spokesperson told MI: “In situations where an intern cannot complete 12 months consecutively, each network deals with each situation on a case by case basis. All interns are accommodated, where possible, to enable them achieve the criteria required to be awarded a certificate of experience.”

Meanwhile, the IMO last week announced a deal on intern induction pay from July 2019. “This was something that absolutely and justifiably rankled and it just had to be fixed,” Mr Anthony Owens, IMO Director of Industrial Relations, Consultants and NCHDs, told MI.

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