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Targets required for flexible training – IMO rep

Targets are required for flexible training and a broader scope of specialties should be involved, the Chair of the IMO NCHD women in medicine working group has told the Medical Independent. Dr Rachel McNamara, who is also a member of the union’s NCHD committee, added that flexible working arrangements should be available for NCHDs in both training and service posts.

Dr Rachel McNamara

Currently, one of the few means of accessing flexible training is through the HSE national supernumerary flexible training scheme. However, it provides for only 32 places annually and has a number of restrictive conditions. Dr McNamara noted: “There is a responsibility there with departments, the training bodies, and with NDTP [National Doctors Training and Planning], to promote and facilitate less than full-time training among a wider variety and large number of departments.”

She said many hospitals and teams believed it would be difficult to accommodate a doctor who is training flexibly or job sharing. “But that has to change from the IMO point of view. We are heading into year three of a pandemic, there are going to be more and more people that will feel the effects of the last two years and they will either need to take career breaks or we have to give them some sort of a flexible option to retain our workforce.”

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