Wednesday, August 24, 2005


Points required for medicine - Part 2

Alot of people rubbished the claims I made in my post yesterday that the astronomical points requirement for medicine would lead to a shortage of doctors. Kevin from Disillusioned Lefty said:

"If there weren't enough people for the course with that many points, the points would drop. So to say we won't have enough doctors is rubbish. If we made room for more doctors, there would inevitably be a lack of jobs for the said doctors."

The Irish Examiner however seems to be on my side of the argument judging by this article. They write:

"Arguably, the emphasis being placed on securing the brainiest candidates, the front runners in a narrow academic sense, will result in turning away potentially talented doctors and nurses because they fall short of the points needed for medicine"

What I argued!

"The ultimate irony of the scenario unfolding at the gateway to Ireland’s beleaguered health system is more foreign than homegrown students are studying here to be doctors. This, despite a chronic dearth of GPs in areas of the country, as well as in inner city areas."

An important point.

"To focus on the striking imbalance between foreign and Irish medical students is not to be racist. Rather, it is to draw attention to an anomaly rooted in Government policy for the past decade. Regrettably, it militates directly against young Irish people because they cannot afford to pay the high fee levels which their foreign counterparts are able to meet."

Another excellent point, one which I overlooked.

"As a result, more than 500 of the 800-plus places available in medical faculties will this year be taken up by non-EU candidates. In contrast with their Irish counterparts, for whom the State pays a college subsidy of €8,000, candidates from countries outside the EU will each pay more than €20,000.

"While this imbalance may be attributed to supply and demand, in most disciplines apart from medicine, colleges are not restricted by Government policy in the number of places they can offer.

"In medicine, however, they are limited to 305 places for Irish medical candidates."

Shocking stuff.

"The much-leaked Fottrell report commissioned by the Government will recommend doubling the number of Irish doctors and call for greater resources to be devoted to this vital area in the future."

Seems like this contradicts Kevin's argument that "to say we won't have enough doctors is rubbish. If we made room for more doctors, there would inevitably be a lack of jobs for the said doctors".

"Ironically, while the majority of overseas students return to practise in their own countries, Ireland could yet become inordinately dependent on doctors from other countries who did not study here"

What a disgrace that would be!

"If you ask any patient languishing on a trolley in one of our many overcrowded hospitals, they will tell you a good doctor does not need six A1s in the Leaving Cert."

Hear, hear!

Like I argued yesterday, the points requirement for medicine is absolutely ridiculous. Something needs to be done about it.


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