I propose to take Questions Nos. 192 and 193 together.
Currently only year 3 and year 4 GP trainees are eligible for the Higher Specialist Trainee (HST) Fund. The cost of increasing the payment by €100 for the 2018-2019 year would be €33,900 for 339 GP trainees.
The Higher Specialist Training fund does not extend to those in basic speciality training, however if €500 was provided to year 1 and year 2 GP trainees for the 2018-2019 year, this would amount to a further €173,500 for 347 GP trainees.
I would note that the HST scheme relates to all higher trainees and if it was expanded and increased by the amounts suggested, it would cost significantly more when the increase is applied to all HST trainees.
Additional Training Supports Funding (TFS) is being made available to all NCHDs from July 2019 as a result of the 2016 IMO High Court Settlement and a MacCraith Report recommendation which acknowledged the need for a more differentiated model that takes account of the needs and costs associated with various specialities and stages of training.
This new Training Support Scheme will give Year 3 and year 4 GP trainees an additional €2,000 per year and year 1 and year 2 GP trainees an additional €1,250 per year.