Tuesday, 13 November 2001
Dáil Eireann Debate
284. Mr. Allen asked the Minister for Health and Children if he has received representations from the Irish Hospital Consultants Association or any other medical organisations regarding Comhairle na nOspidéal allegedly acting outside the statutory agreement in laying down contractual obligations. [27435/01]
285. Mr. Allen asked the Minister for Health and Children his views on recent statements made by a person (details supplied) in County Kerry that non-consultant hospital doctors had more designated time for continuous medical education than consultants; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [27436/01]
Minister for Health and Children (Mr. Martin): Non-consultant hospital doctors – NCHDs – are doctors in training, who require a significant amount of training time, on the job and through designated training hours, to complete their medical training and equip them to advance to consultant appointments. It is also appropriate that all doctors receive continuing medical education – CME – in order to stay abreast of new developments and for the purposes of competence assurance.
As the Deputy may be aware, an appraisal of medical education and training will be a key aspect of the work of the forthcoming national task force on medical manpower. Among the issues which the task force will be asked to examine are the recommendations of the forum on medical manpower and the national joint steering group on the working hours of non-consultant hospital doctors.
These include a training strategy for each hospital, the development of training partnerships with UK and US hospitals and the accreditation of training placements abroad. The task force will also examine proposals for increased opportunities for continuing medical education and continuing professional development in modular form and the development of joint strategies for delivery of CME and CPD involving employers and training bodies.
It is also important to ensure that women have available to them education and training oppor tunities equal to those available to men and to this end, the forthcoming national task force on medical manpower will, inter alia, prepare detailed proposals to address gender imbalances in the hospital medical staffing system. Most importantly, the task force will assess how career progression and development for doctors can be linked to evidence-based assessment of performance and the need for competence assurance procedures and audit for both service delivery and training.
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