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The Council has not accepted new applications for speciality recognition since March 2015, pending a review of the existing process.
Last June, the Council informed MI it would engage an “external third party” to conduct the review. At the time, it expected the review process to conclude in 2016.
MI was aware of the intent of relevant colleges to develop proposals seeking recognition of forensic psychiatry and forensic pathology, for example, before the Council suspended accepting new applications.
As previously reported by MI, an examination of credentialing areas of medical practice will form part of the review.
Last week, a Council spokesperson said it is in contract negotiations with the successful tenderer and expects work to commence shortly. “We expect their report with recommendations to be completed in mid-2017 and are therefore not in a position to comment on options presented or time lines for implementation of any recommendations made.”
Military Medicine was the last specialty to be recognised by the Council. The regulator is currently securing a team of assessors to undertake accreditation of the training programme in 2017.
Meanwhile, the Council said the sale of its previous headquarters in Dublin — Lynn House — has not yet been completed.
Lynn House was put up for sale following consent from the Minister for Health and the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform. Consent was given on condition that funds accruing to the Council from the disposal of the property are “held in capital reserve and utilised for the long-term spatial requirements of the organisation,” said the Council.