Wednesday, 15 November 2006
Dáil Eireann Debate
246. Mr. Bruton asked the Minister for Education and Science if she will reconsider the charges for the four-year post-graduate medical degree, in order to make it easier for qualified applicants to take up this option. [38158/06]
Minister for Education and Science (Ms Hanafin): On the 1 February 2006 the Minister for Health and Children and I published the report of the Fottrell Working Group on Undergraduate Medical Education and Training. Among the recommendations of the Fottrell Group was that a graduate stream of entry to medicine be introduced and that all graduates of honours Bachelor degree programmes should be eligible to apply.
It is anticipated that the Higher Education Authority will shortly issue a competitive call for proposals to provide the new graduate entry programme, with a view to additional places being provided on this programme from 2007. It has been decided that graduate entry will be open to graduates of all disciplines. The provision of a graduate entry stream is an important development in reducing pressures on aspiring medical students who until now have effectively had one chance of entry, based on their Leaving Certificate performance. This will allow students to make a decision to enter medicine at a more mature age and should result in a more diverse range of entrants into the profession.
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