24 June 2020
The Royal College of Physicians of Ireland (RCPI) welcomes the creation of more than 90 new training posts that will help to recruit and retain doctors in the Irish healthcare system. The college has worked closely with the HSE to support these additional specialist medical training opportunities, which will be attractive to newly qualified doctors, including those who returned to Ireland or opted to stay here to care for patients during the pandemic.
Prof Mary Horgan, President of the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland, and a Consultant in Infectious Diseases, has prioritised the recruitment and retention of doctors during her Presidency and warmly welcomed the significant increase in new posts today:
“In recent months it has been heartening to see many young Irish doctors return from abroad to help in the Irish health system – answering Ireland’s call. This year has also seen many doctors graduate early to support patient care on the frontline. These training posts now offer career development opportunities for doctors working here, which I hope many of them will take up. It is also a priority that these posts will be created in hospitals across Ireland to support patient care requirements in hospitals in all of the regions.”
Prof Horgan continued:
“These training posts, which expand RCPI’s specialist medical training programmes, will result in more highly trained medical specialists in areas such as general medicine, infectious diseases, occupational medicine, public health, clinical microbiology and paediatrics. It also means we will be in a better position to respond to future public health challenges. In the past, our health service has suffered as a result of our medical graduates going abroad to work and not returning home. We have had difficulties in both recruiting and retaining our doctors in the health service in Ireland. Now there are more opportunities for doctors to advance their medical careers while remaining within the Irish health service.”
The increase in the number of training positions in hospitals all over Ireland will create more opportunities for doctors who are currently working in our health service to access high quality training.
Dr Terry McWade, CEO of RCPI said:
“The health service is facing significant challenges in delivering healthcare in a COVID-19 environment. One of the challenges is ensuring we have adequate numbers of appropriately trained doctors who can deliver high quality medical care. Today’s announcement means that more doctors working in our health service will have the opportunity to train as specialists as part of a structured training programme in Ireland. It means that we will have more doctors trained to a higher recognised standard in the health service. It also means there will be more highly qualified specialists in key areas such as Public Health Medicine, Occupational Medicine, Infectious Diseases and Clinical Microbiology – specialties which we know are all are crucial in the response to the pandemic.”
There are currently 1,450 doctors training on RCPI’s specialist medical training programmes at various levels. Their training is delivered in hospitals around Ireland as part of a structured programme to allow them to specialise across a wide range of areas of medicine. During their training these doctors work in the health system caring for patients. We will publish more detailed information on the new training positions on our website in the coming days. The Royal College of Physicians of Ireland is the largest and the oldest postgraduate medical college in Ireland.
Pictured above (L-R) are Paul Reid, Chief Executive Officer of the HSE; Anne O’Connor, Chief Operations Officer of the HSE; Dr Colm Henry, Chief Clinical Officer of the HSE; RCPI President, Prof Mary Horgan and RCPI CEO, Dr Terry McWade.