Minister for Health approves increase in number of Medical Intern and Postgraduate Training Places


The Minister for Health, Stephen Donnelly TD, is pleased to announce an increase of 120 medical intern posts plus additional postgraduate training places and Post CSCST Fellowship posts for July 2021.

The Minister is committed to increasing the medical workforce and this approach is a positive step as it offers more opportunities for training doctors, including those at a senior level.

Minister Donnelly has agreed that a permanent increase in intern posts cannot be considered in isolation and the full journey of postgraduate training needed to be considered to ensure alignment with medical workforce planning and the next steps in postgraduate training pathway.

Minister Donnelly said:

\”I am pleased that we are now in a position to significantly increase the medical training places in a more permanent way that is aligned with workforce planning and the future needs of our health and social care services. As we are coming out of the third wave of COVID-19 and the focus will return to the challenges of our health service, there needs to be a focus on the continued recruitment of senior doctors to meet demands.\”

Measures to support an increase of 120 intern places from July 2021

The Minister has agreed the following measures to support postgraduate medical training in Ireland:

  • An increase of interns for July 2021 to 854 places
  • Introduction of a period of an overlap of one week between exiting and incoming interns
  • Establishment of 12 De Novo Training Posts
  • Conversion of 40 Non-Training Posts to Training Posts
  • Permanent establishment of 40 Post CSCST Fellowships

The new measures are estimated to cost approximately €11.4m over the next two years with €4.4m to be funded in 2021.

The HSE Chief Clinical Officer, Dr. Colm Henry, welcomes the announcement from Minister for Health, Stephen Donnelly TD, confirming an increase in medical intern posts plus additional post graduate training places and Post CSCST Fellowship posts for July 2021.

Dr Henry says:

\”The HSE is committed to increasing training posts while reducing our reliance on non-training posts and we will continue to work towards this goal through appropriate increases in the number of intern and post graduate training posts in line with medical workforce requirements while ensuring training capacity, supervision and standards are maintained.\”

Postgraduate Training Places

The increase in number of intern places will be supported with accompanying increases in postgraduate training places, the next step in the training pathway following completion of an internship.

These increases in approved postgraduate training posts are in addition to the already approved increase of 114 training posts across postgraduate training programmes for the July 2021 intake.

The additional training posts will provide enhanced opportunities for doctors in Ireland and will ultimately support the delivery of shorter waiting times, the reduction of inappropriate hospital admissions, improved patient flow, and earlier discharge of patients to the community.

Post CSCST Fellowship Posts

In November 2020, the HSE announced the establishment of 40 once off COVID-19 Era Posts CSCST Fellowships for July 2021. These Fellowships will be filled by senior doctors who have completed training to develop key skills within our health service as well as continuing to support the COVID-19 effort.

Today’s confirmation of the permanent establishment of these one-year Post CSCST Fellowships will enhance the training and skills of specialist trainees in a way that will benefit the health services in Ireland and creating opportunities to enrich training here and to retain the specialists Ireland needs.

The introduction of these permanent Post CSCST Fellowships will bring the expected number of Post CSCST Fellowships opportunities in Ireland up to approximately 55 per year.

Over the next number of months, the HSE will be undertaking a formal review of the number of intern posts and postgraduate training positions to ensure the number of intern places are in line with future medical workforce planning requirements of the health service. As part of this review the clinical sites where additional intern posts are most needed will be considered to ensure that the current configuration provides the most efficient and educationally appropriate model.


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