The new fit-for-purpose GP training facility for the Cork GP Training Scheme was officially opened today (7 December) at St Mary’s Health Campus, in Gurranabraher, Cork.
The new facility provides an enhanced and larger learning environment for GP training in the city and region, with plans for further expansion.
It also represents a strong partnership between the Irish College of General Practitioners (ICGP), the HSE, University College Cork (UCC) and Cork City Council, the ICGP said in a press statement.
The ICGP’s National Director of GP Training, Dr Martin Rouse, said: “This is a significant milestone in the history of GP training in Cork. From its establishment in the early ’70s, the Cork GP Training Scheme has maintained huge support from the General Practice community, the old Southern Health Board (now HSE) and, in particular, UCC. The links with UCC have always been strong and while moving some distance from the main UCC campus on the Western Road, this modern fit-for-purpose facility will continue these links and ensure a healthy future for the training of General Practitioners for the region. “
He added: “It is a tribute to the vision of past Directors of GP Training in the region from Dr Owen Shorten, Prof Bill Shannon, Dr Harry Comber and most recently Dr Paddy Ryan whose foresight and persistence was key to delivering this wonderful facility.”
The ICGP is leading an expansion in GP training numbers nationally to help meet GP shortages, impending retirements and the growing diversity of GP services in primary care.
Last month, the ICGP received a record 968 applications for the 2023 GP Training Programme, “reflecting the growing popularity of general practice as a career for medical graduates”, the college said in a press statement.
Dr. Rouse also said: “There are currently 932 trainees enrolled in the GP Training Programme across the country, and we have increased our training numbers by 60 per cent in the past six years.”
The Director of the Cork GP Training Scheme, Dr Sheila Rochford, welcomed representatives from UCC, the HSE and the Lord Mayor’s office to the official opening.
“We are delighted to be based here in Gurranabraher while keeping our close links with UCC,” she said. “The expansion of GP training in the region will help strengthen primary healthcare services, and it’s a recognition of the strong support we receive from the HSE that this facility is now in place. From 12 training places, we have now 24 trainees on-site, and we look forward to growing those numbers in coming years.”