'Review highlights HSC workforce challenges' - Sheehan
Sinn Féin spokesperson for Health Pat Sheehan has said the need for 100 additional doctors a year emphasises the ongoing workforce challenges facing the health and social care (HSC) system in the north of Ireland. Speaking in response to the 'Review of Medical School Places in 2017' published by the Department of Health, the West Belfast MLA commented: "This review is a clear reminder of the serious challenges facing the HSC workforce, specifically with regards to training doctors. "Unfortunately these challenges exist across the HSC system and need to be addressed as part of transformation through effective workforce planning, recruitment and retention. "Ensuring there is capacity in the workforce to deliver a 21st century universal health and social care system is fundamental to transformation but as stated in Michelle O'Neill's Delivering Together plan real transformation requires additional funding. "The suggestion from the Department that cuts elsewhere in the system would be required is not acceptable and runs contrary to the transformation agenda. "As Minister of Health Michelle O'Neill increased the number of GP medical training places in the north but last year a number of these available places were not filled. "The review recognises there are a number of actions, including but not limited to increasing the number of medical training places, that need to be taken to make the practice of medicine in the north more attractive to people to study and to stay and work in. "The review also emphasises the important role a Graduate Entry Medical School in the North West could have on increasing the number of doctors trained in the north of Ireland."