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General register doctors need ‘equal training opportunities’ – Council President

By David Lynch - 24th Nov 2022

doctor equal training opportunities
Dr Suzanne Crowe

Doctors on the general division of the Medical Council register need “equal training opportunities” and legislative support, Medical Council President Dr Suzanne Crowe told the recent HSE National Doctors Training and Planning (NDTP) conference in Dublin.

The conference on 11 November marked the launch of the NDTP Strategic Plan 2022-2027 (full coverage in the next issue).

The new plan includes a commitment to “work with the clinical educator network to enhance mentorship for doctors” on the general division of the register.

Speaking to the Medical Independent at the conference, Prof Brian Kinirons, NDTP Medical Director, said that these measures are about “recognising the fact that there are doctors who need support in terms of training…. So it’s about trying to find measures to support them and recognising the fact that we have too many [doctors] on that [general] register and we need to reduce that number.”

More than one-third of all clinically active doctors in Ireland are on the general division of the register, according to the Medical Workforce Intelligence Report 2021, which was published by the Medical Council in September.

Speaking from the stage during the conference, Dr Crowe said that the Medical Council “can’t exist as a separate ivory tower” in regard to a workforce development strategy.

“Many doctors are on the general register and they work in relatively unaccredited posts and that has to be addressed and they have to receive accreditation for the experience that they have gained along with equal training opportunities.

“We [Medical Council] are going to focus much more on the upstream part of regulation so that doctors can be accredited [and] receive verification of their training. But this also needs to be supported by some legislative changes.” She said some doctors needed to be supported in terms of their visa and “making their home, and residency, in Ireland. So there are many pieces that need to come together.”

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