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Warning on training bodies having extra competence role

The Medical Council has expressed the view that the training bodies could have an expanded role in the supervision and remediation of doctors on the schemes.

“I wouldn’t like to see that change in role because you have to have one group supporting doctors and interacting with them in a way that is formative, not punitive, and if the colleges aren’t doing that, who is going to do that?” Dr Hillery told the Medical Independent (MI).

“If the colleges are seen by their members as bodies who are watching them all the time and likely to pull them up, report them and discipline them, what does that do to the relationship as regards education and training? It is a balancing act between different parts of the system and I wouldn’t like to see that change. But we need to wait and see what the Medical Council wants to roll-out over the next few years. If the role is to expand, it will require resources and the money will have to come from somewhere. And it is in the public interest, so you would feel it is something the health service would be involved in, as well as individual members of the College.”

Dr Hillery said the College is satisfied about the high number of its members who have registered on professional competence courses.

“But at the same time, we do know there are a lot of people in consultant posts who aren’t specialists, who are just post-membership because the posts either haven’t been set up in such a way or something has happened in that they are not attractive to fully-trained specialists, and that is an issue. We are going to the Medical Council, we have been to the Department of Health and we have been to the HSE as well. And it is a concern for them too.”

See full interview, page 32

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