I have noted the concerns expressed by the Inspector of Mental Hospitals in his annual report in relation to the training of psychiatrists. Training in psychiatry in Ireland is supervised by the Irish Psychiatric Training Committee. It includes clinical, administrative, legal and other relevant aspects. It is very much focused on the services here and, at higher training level, aims to train consultants particularly for the Irish psychiatric services. As in other medical specialties, some doctors train abroad particularly in the United Kingdom, the United States and Canada. Given that this is a relatively small country this cross fertilisation from other countries is useful and leads to an inquiring and open attitude amongst psychiatrists working at consultant level in Ireland thereby facilitating the assimilation of modern approaches to patient care and treatment.
The worth of the scheme is evidenced by the number of doctors completing the higher training scheme in psychiatry in Ireland who succeed in obtaining consultant appointments here. Postgraduate training for doctors is a key issue in having a strategy to help young Irish doctors working in the health service and will be highlighted in the report of the medical manpower forum which I expect to be agreed shortly.