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Third Level Admissions

Dáil Éireann Debate, Thursday - 30 June 2022

Thursday, 30 June 2022

Questions (253)

Brendan Smith


253. Deputy Brendan Smith asked the Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science if it is proposed to increase the number of places on first-year medicine courses for Irish students in 2022; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [35190/22]

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Written answers (Question to Further and Higher Education)

Ensuring an appropriate pipeline of suitably qualified healthcare professionals is a key priority. The challenges presented by Covid-19 have given extra urgency to the need to address the long-term workforce planning needs of the health system.

My Department has been engaging with the Department of Health on the number of places available in areas where the HSE has identified significant skills shortages. The areas identified include places in healthcare disciplines such as medical professionals.

In the coming weeks the Minister for Health and I will bring a memo to Government to outline a five-year plan to secure extra places in medicine. The first of these places will be available in September 2022.

The Programme for Government commits the Department of Health to working with the education sectors, regulators, and professional bodies to improve the availability of health professionals and reform their training to support integrated care across the entire health service.  I will ensure that there is continued engagement with all stakeholders to ensure that we deliver graduates with the skills necessary to support our healthcare system and support the strategic workforce planning by the health sector.