Increase in doctor training places welcomed
Commenting on an announcement from the Department of Health that there will be at least 600 places for doctors entering specialist training in the North in 2007, Sinn Féin health spokesperson, John O'Dowd MLA, said:
"This is a major improvement on the figure of 150 posts previously announced by the Department of Health.
"However, while we welcome this announcement, there are a number of crucial issues that remain unaddressed. We still don't know how many of these posts will be entry points to long term training, and how many will be short-term appointments. Nor do we know at what level they are.
"We also believe that the Department should take a lead from the example set in Scotland where a greater emphasis is placed on developing what are known as rural generalist doctors in order to ensure that long-term attention is given to producing doctors suitably trained for and attuned to, the social and medical realities and needs of rural communities." ENDS