Increase in Intern Placements
While welcoming the move to increase the number of Intern places for 2021 we call on the Minister to reconsider the limitation on the increase of 120 posts and instead ensure all qualifying medical graduates in 2021 are offered an intern placement.
In the context both of the ongoing pandemic, ever increasing waiting lists and the extraordinary long hours our NCHDs are working it is imperative that we increase the medical workforce and encourage medical graduates to stay in Ireland and pursue a career in our public health services.
We have held extensive discussions with the HSE on intern numbers, the expansion of training places and the permanent establishment of post CSCST Fellowships, following their introduction on a trial basis last year.
While we cautiously welcome the Department’s commitments in terms of an increase in training places, and the embedding into the system of permanent additional post CSCST Fellowships, these must be seen as just the first steps along a long road to finally addressing our ongoing crisis in medical recruitment and retention. We expect to receive full details of these two initiative shortly and will communicate same to our members.
It is imperative that the HSE and the Department prioritise the development of medical career pathways. It is becoming increasingly clear to the IMO that a significant number of Doctors, particularly those who we hope to retain and to train, are once again considering relocating to health services overseas where working hours are realistic and access to training is consistent rather than sporadic.