Wednesday, 20 May 2020
Department of Health
752. To ask the Minister for Health if his attention has been drawn to the fact that the imminent annual junior doctor rotation at hospitals is causing significant concerns for staff during the Covid-19 pandemic (details supplied); if the rotations will be postponed for a number of months to minimise the impact on frontline staff that are working very hard to manage the public health crisis; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6367/20]
The decision to proceed with the NCHD changeover on 13 July this year was taken after detailed consideration and consultation, in particular with the Forum of Postgraduate Medical Training Bodies and clinical sites.
It was heavily weighted on the interests of trainees and training, whilst be cognisant of the Public Health advice and patient care. This decision has been communicated by NDTP and also individual Training Bodies. Many Specialist Registrars will be completing training and new Specialist Registrars must rotate into these vacant posts.
Rotating positions is always a challenge. It was for this reason that NDTP HSE have aimed to provide certainty regarding the changeover date to NCHDs as early as possible. With regard to accommodation challenges, there is temporary accommodation available for healthcare workers and information on same is available on the HSE's website. Induction is extremely important when commencing a new job and NDTP, HSE are aware that local employers are preparing to deliver as much as possible of this on-line and by utilising resources such as HSE Land.
This decision is being monitored, and obviously should there be a significant deterioration in relation to Covid-19, the decision will be reviewed accordingly. It is noted that the HSE intends that closer to the NCHD changeover, advice will issue from the National Health and Well Being Unit to NCHDs who are required to rotate and also to local Occupational Health Departments. Also, the early commencement for interns this week, rather than July, and Senior House Officers rotating primarily within their geographical area will assist the transition. Whilst it is acknowledged that none of these measures is a perfect solution, they will mitigate challenges and assist NCHDs during this time and through changeover.