Written answers

Wednesday, 24 November 2021

Department of Education and Skills

Third Level Education

Photo of Alan KellyAlan Kelly (Tipperary, Labour)
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140. To ask the Minister for Education and Skills the status of the need to incentivise Irish universities and institutes of technology to offer physician associate courses in view of the plan in the UK to have 6,000 physician associate graduates by 2023 to meet demand in its primary care system and its offer of £5,000 grants to students taking the courses as an incentive; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [57785/21]

Photo of Simon HarrisSimon Harris (Wicklow, Fine Gael)
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The matter of health workforce planning and ensuring an appropriate pipeline of qualified healthcare workers within Ireland, is a major priority for my Department. This would be a priority even in normal times, but the COVID-19 pandemic and the resultant strain on our healthcare sector, further underscores its importance.

The Programme for Government commits the Department of Health to working with the education sectors, regulators, and professional bodies to improve the availability of health professionals and reform their training to support integrated care across the entire health service. My Department and I are continuing to engage with the Department of Health to ensure that we can continue to deliver graduates with the skills necessary to support our healthcare system and support the strategic workforce planning by the health sector.


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