The goal of these ‘contacts’ is to address risk factors for chronic disease.
Dr Maria O’Brien (PhD), Project Manager of the MECC programme, told the Medical Independent (MI) a targeted approach is being taken with “specific implementation sites, and any HSE staff member can sign-up and complete the e-learning modules, and are being encouraged to do so”.
“Doctors are considered very important to the successful implementation of the MECC programme,” she added. “We have invested in development and promoting the training programme with [the] ICGP and plan to engage with the medical education bodies to further promote the programme and look at ways at encouraging doctors to complete the training and engage in delivering interventions for lifestyle behaviour.”
The MECC programme, which is linked to the Government’s Healthy Ireland strategy, cost €200,000 to establish.
A HSE spokesperson told MI. “The online training programme was developed by an external supplier appointed following a competitive tender process. A local implementation approach is being adopted for this programme, which means that staff are being encouraged through their local network to complete the online training programme. In addition, health promotion and improvement staff are carrying out face-to-face workshops at those initial sites to support those sites to move to an implementation stage of Making Every Contact Count.”
The HSE spokesperson said the programme is in the early stages, so there are no figures for the number of doctors who have undertaken training.