The ICGP CEO expects the College to have total responsibility for the running of GP training by the middle of next summer.
Speaking on 5 October at the annual conference of Rural, Island and Dispensing Doctors, held in Athlone, Mr Fintan Foy said he was “reasonably confident that by the middle of next summer, we will see your College having complete and utter responsibility for GP training”.
Mr Foy, who has worked in senior management positions in medical education for over two decades, described his role as ICGP CEO as “probably the most difficult job I’ve had in my career, but it is also probably the most enjoyable”.
He said the biggest task facing the College was the transfer of GP training from the HSE, an issue that had been ongoing for a decade.
“[The transfer] means the transfer of ownership and running of training from the HSE to the College,” Mr Foy told delegates. “It has been a very complex programme and it kind of landed on my desk when I started in February 2017.
“We had to put it on hold because there are ongoing IR issues and then in the last year, we set up a task force to look at the model of training, which has been very successful, and I am pleased to say in the last couple of months there has been quite considerable progress on the IR side…”
Strategic areas of focus for the College over the next year will include research and developing a vision for general practice in the 21st Century.
Mr Foy noted that a recent College survey on the career intentions of GP trainees and recent GP graduates found only 2 per cent or less wanted to work in a single-handed practice in the future.
“We have to come up with solutions around which single-handed practice probably will phase out but there has to be something that will replace it, which will encourage people to work in rural Ireland,” stated Mr Foy.
He also voiced the need for “a much more formal structure between the senior team in ICGP and the Rural, Island and Dispensing Doctors”.