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The International Medical Graduate Training Initiative (IMGTI), a collaboration between the HSE and Irish Forum of Postgraduate Medical Training Bodies, facilitates doctors from abroad to complete part of their training in Ireland. However, some doctors are staying beyond the agreed terms, sometimes having been encouraged by Irish consultants, trainees and hospitals. The issue has been repeatedly raised at the Joint Committee of the IMGTI, according to minutes obtained from the HSE following a Freedom of Information request.
The IMGTI is partnering with a number of countries, the first of which was Pakistan. Currently, there are 189 doctors working in Ireland under the IMGTI.
According to minutes of an IMGTI Joint Committee meeting in September 2016, “this year, a number of the trainees who completed the two-year programme sought and secured employment in Irish HSE hospitals. This is in breach of the terms and conditions of the programme.”
The minutes reported that an “emergency meeting” was held in Dublin with two senior professors from the CPSP. “It was agreed that CPSP trainees must return to Pakistan for a period of at least 12 months after completion of the CPSP programme.
“Formal communication has been issued to all training sites of this decision… A number of Irish consultants were believed to be encouraging CPSP trainees to stay and work in Ireland.”
In October, a meeting of the IMGTI Joint Committee was informed that nine CPSP trainees who completed the programme in July 2016 “have returned to Ireland and are currently working in Irish hospital sites. HSE NDTP [National Doctors Training and Planning] was working hard to instruct those sites to withdraw the offers of employment. This was proving difficult, as the CPSP trainees were getting mixed messages to [sic] both Irish consultant supervisors and medical administration.”
A paper published last year in the Journal of the College of Physicians and Surgeons Pakistan showed a generally high level of satisfaction with the IMGTI among participants. However, MI understands there is some confusion and dissatisfaction concerning the programme terms.
See news analysis, page 14