McGimpsey Announces Improved Recruitment To Medical Training

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Medical Training

Health Minister Michael McGimpsey announced significant improvements to the system to recruit doctors to train in Northern Ireland.

Changes to the training system follow concerns earlier this year over the recruitment process. In Northern Ireland the department adopted a more locally acceptable system in response to these concerns. As a result, fears about large scale unemployment of local junior doctors did not materialise.

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Explaining the need for the changes the Minister said: "Earlier this year I commissioned a review of recruitment into specialty training. My objective was to have a system which meets the need of local patients and clients, but also is fair and transparent. In particular I wanted to ensure that local doctors have the opportunity to apply to programmes that offer high quality training.

"The new arrangements I am announcing today will mean that doctors will still apply for training in a specialty of their choice. Trainees will also have, in the future, the option of continuing such specialty training or changing career direction. I believe that this flexibility will ensure we make the most of the ambition of trainees and secure best value from the considerable sums we invest in their training.

Concluding Mr Mc Gimpsey said: "My core objective is to ensure that the people of Northern Ireland have access to first class treatment and care delivered by a professional dedicated workforce in modern well equipped facilities. Investing in skills today is key to delivering that."

The Chief Medical Officer, Dr Michael Mc Bride, welcomed the changes: "It is vital that we ensure a continuing supply of highly trained and motivated doctors for Health and Social Care in Northern Ireland. These changes will help considerably towards that goal."

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