Additional Medical School places a “timely and practical boost” says RCPsych NI Chair

Northern Ireland news
17 September 2020

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RCPsych NI Chair, Dr Richard Wilson, has welcomed the news that Queen's University is to admit an additional 80 medical students after funding was secured at Stormont by the Health Minister, Robin Swann. The announcement comes in the wake of the findings of the 2019 Gardiner Report, which found that Northern Ireland required at least 100 additional medical students per year to meet the increasing demand for doctors.

In overall terms, that will increase the number of students studying to become doctors in Belfast by 30% over a two-year period, with over 300 medical students being based in the city by September 2021. The news comes shortly after Ulster University received GMC approval to begin recruiting 70 graduate students to begin a four-year medical degree course in 2021.

Dr Wilson said, “This is a very timely and practical boost for the medical profession in Northern Ireland and the Minister should be commended for securing the extra funding. Workforce planning is one of our key strategies and this comes at an opportune time for the College as we lobby for an increase in the number of psychiatry training places to meet the ever-increasing demand."

“RCPsych NI will continue to work in partnership with the medical schools to ensure that the needs of mental health services and patients are met effectively, and that Northern Ireland continues to produce a world class workforce to deliver our health services," added Dr Wilson.

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