Minister Cowen announces major initiative on medical manpower

07 May 1998

The Minister for Health and Children today, 7th May 1998, announced the establishment of a Forum on Medical Manpower to develop a programme of action to deliver changes necessary in this area.

The Minister said that his priority is to develop a comprehensive policy on medical manpower designed to address the problems which have been identified. Minister Cowen said "New initiatives are required relating to training, career structure and service delivery. I want the Forum to consider particularly ways to create better careers for young doctors, to reduce the need for so many of our doctors to emigrate after qualification, to improve post graduate medical training and to effect improvements in the delivery of medical care to patients."

In recent years a number of studies have been undertaken examining the issues in relation to medical manpower in general hospitals. Two key earlier milestones were the publication of Medical Manpower in Acute Hospitals, published in June 1993 which has become known as the Tierney Report and the Consultative Conference held in Limerick in 1996 which was themed Towards a Patient-Centred Service. Analysis of medical manpower has identified the specific problems to be:

The Minister has asked the Forum to convene as soon as possible to make recommendations on these key issues.

Membership of the Forum will be: