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The letter thanks the Minister for his intent to ensure that “all competent non-EU doctors” are eligible for training jobs from 2016.
The Minister has promised to put forward an amendment to the Medical Practitioners Act 2007, removing the necessity of internship equivalency for non-EU doctors seeking to apply for training posts.
However, the OMI letter notes that while Minister Varadkar had mentioned that a proposed amendment would be tabled in January, “we are unsure when the amendment would come into effect”.
The correspondence states that, with regard to applying for the July 2016 intake, the application deadline for medicine-related specialties and subspecialties closes this month.
It notes that non-EU doctors to whom the amendment applies had sought to apply on a provisional basis for July 2016 training positions.
“However for unclear reasons RCPI did not entertain the idea and even declined to acknowledge the training those hapless non EU-doctors did in ‘non training’ jobs…OMI finds the decision of RCPI not to accept training post applications for the 2016 intake and denying training credit to non-EU cohort of doctors unfortunate and disappointing. OMI is certain this decision of RCPI would trigger further exodus of talented and ambitious non-EU doctors, especially from India and Pakistan, to the UK and other countries.”
A spokesperson for the RCPI told the Medical Independent (MI) it has been “a strong advocate” for the legislative change to remove this barrier to accessing training jobs.
The spokesperson added: “Basic Specialist Training (BST) is a curriculum-based programme of supervised clinical training. Doctors must be eligible for the trainee specialist division of the Irish Medical Council register at the time of application. The four Basic Specialty Training programmes delivered by the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland are:
· The Irish Committee on Higher Training BST programme in General Internal Medicine
· The Institute of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists- BST programme in Obstetrics and Gynaecology
· The Faculty of Pathology – BST programme in Histopathology
· The Faculty of Paediatrics BST programme in General Paediatrics
“Training bodies and their BST programmes are approved by the Irish Medical Council. Each postgraduate training body has clear guidelines around equivalence for training undertaken outside of Ireland as follows:
“For candidates applying to a Basic Specialist Training Programme, equivalence of training/experience will be recognised if the training which is being considered has been successfully completed and provided through a structured programme formally recognised by a national training body in one of the following jurisdictions: UK-Programmes approved by the Royal College of Physicians; Australia and New Zealand-Programmes approved by the Royal Australasian College of Physicians; US-ACGME Approved Residency Programmes; Canada- Programmes Approved by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada; and OMAN-Fellowship programme of the OMAN Medical Specialist Board OMSB.”