Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Questions (629)

Bernard Durkan

Question:

629. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Health the extent to which he expects to have sufficient junior hospital doctors to meet requirements throughout the hospital service in the coming years; if he sees any requirement for policy changes in this regard in view of the experience of previous years; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [30823/13]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

Under the provisions of the Medical Practitioners Act 2007 it is the responsibility of the Health Service Executive (HSE) in co-operation with the medical training bodies and after consultation with the Higher Education Authority, to undertake appropriate medical workforce planning for the purpose of meeting specialist medical staffing and training needs of the health service on an ongoing basis, and to assess on an annual basis the number of intern training posts and the number and type of specialist medical training posts required by the health service.

Following implementation of the recommendations of the Report of the Undergraduate Medical Education and Training Group (Fottrell 2006) a significant increase in the intake of Irish and EU students into Irish medical schools was phased in over the period 2006 to 2011. The objective of the increase was to achieve self-sufficiency in terms of medical staffing. This initiative has resulted in an increased number of Irish/EU medical graduates from Irish medical schools and projections indicate that the number of graduates will continue to increase up to 2016, providing a greater supply of junior hospital doctors for the health service.