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Funding of military medicine is now ‘under consideration’

Minister for Health Leo Varadkar recently announced that he had approved the decision of the Medical Council to recognise military medicine as a distinct specialty. Training under the specialty will result in dual qualification in military medicine and general practice.

Asked what funding it has committed to the development and operation of such a training programme, and when it may commence, a Department of Defence spokesperson said: “This matter is currently under consideration.”

Arising from the recognition process, the ICGP is responsible and accountable to the Medical Council for matters relating to military medicine.

Colonel Dr Gerry Kerr, Director of the Medical Branch, Defence Forces, told the Medical Independent (MI) he strongly welcomed the decision of the Medical Council and Minister for Health. The next stages involve agreement over funding and a process of accreditation for the propose of a training programme. Dr Kerr told MI he had been hopeful that the first trainees would commence next July, but that this may be “too optimistic at this point”.

ICGP CEO Mr Kieran Ryan told MI that the College is delighted to be “part of the development of this new specialty”.

He said the ICGP will be “part of the conjoint board of the Faculty of the specialty”.

According to Mr Ryan, the College will “work with the Faculty in confirming the various practical and implementation details of establishing the training programme now that we have formal recognition of the specialty from the Medical Council”. 

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