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Additional training places ‘approved’ – Department of Health

By Catherine Reilly - 02nd Apr 2023

training posts

The Department of Health has approved the establishment of 83 new postgraduate training posts for the July 2023 intake, according to a spokesperson.

“These new training posts will be a mixture of specialties and include intern, general practice, haematology, histopathology, public health, dermatology, neonatology, and radiology training posts.” Alongside new training posts, the Department has supported the conversion of up to 50 existing NCHD posts into training posts in specialties such as psychiatry, medicine, paediatrics, and surgery.

According to the Department, this represented an investment of approximately €5.7 million annually.

The final number of new training posts for the July 2023 intake – newly established and converted – will be “confirmed following the completion of the recruitment process of the postgraduate training bodies”.

“Planned increases in postgraduate training posts will increase the number of senior doctors in the system, provide a structured training and career path for more doctors, producing and retaining more highly trained specialists for the Irish health service,” added the spokesperson.

In December, Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly acknowledged that the ratio of consultants to the population “has historically been far too low”. The Government approved the recruitment of an additional 1,000 consultants in tandem with the introduction of the controversial new consultant contract.

Last year, an ESRI report projected that between 2,575 and 3,236 additional whole-time equivalent “medical staff” would be needed in the public hospital system by 2035.

In March, the ICGP warned of a “huge challenge in meeting the demand for GPs” despite a significant increase in training places over recent years. A report it produced with the Association of University Departments of General Practice in Ireland highlighted the need to increase intern places in general practice, among other recommendations.

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