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Marginal increase in HSE consultants not on specialist register

By David Lynch - 12th May 2024

HSE consultants

Some 117 consultants employed by the HSE were not on the Medical Council’s specialist register as of 8 April, according to figures released to this newspaper.

This marked an increase from 103 at the end of November. 

The HSE and other public health service employers “make every conceivable effort to fill consultant posts with doctors who hold specialist registration”, a HSE spokesperson informed the Medical Independent.

“However, it is not always possible to do so.”

According to the figures, Saolta University Health Care Group employed the greatest number of consultants not on the specialist register, with 26. It was followed by Ireland East Hospital Group (21) and South/South West Hospital Group (19).

Separately, consultation is continuing between the HSE’s consultant applications advisory committee (CAAC) and other bodies regarding amendments to medical qualifications in anaesthesiology relating to pain medicine.

The issue was highlighted in the CAAC annual report for 2023 in the section on amendments to medical qualifications.

The report noted that “in April 2023, consultation commenced with the College of Anaesthesiologists of Ireland and the Faculty of Pain Medicine regarding current qualifications in anaesthesiology relating to pain medicine”.

According to a CAAC spokesperson, the consultation process is ongoing and will be considered by the committee “in due course”.

During 2023, the CAAC approved a number of requests for titles/qualifications, including ‘Consultant in Paediatric Palliative Medicine’, ‘Consultant Paediatric Anaesthesiologist with a special interest in Paediatric Critical Care Medicine’, and ‘Consultant in Paediatric Dentistry’.

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