Funding public health

 

Sir, – The Scally report highlighted the limited input of public health physicians into Cervical Check which, Dr Scally firmly believes, was to its detriment. There is a small cohort of specialist public health physicians in Ireland and the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland (RCPI) Faculty of Public Health Medicine is proud of the high calibre of the doctors who are currently specialising in this area.

Prior to the publication of the Scally report, the faculty had drawn attention to the staffing constraints of local and national services, and supported the recognition of the work of public health physicians as equivalent to that of specialist consultant physician colleagues working in other settings. The faculty also proposed reform of the structure within which the service is managed and delivered. These views are consistent with the Sláintecare plan for health services which emphasises the importance of a population health approach, from prevention through to planning and evaluation of health services.

The Scally report reinforces the faculty’s view that a modern, open economy with an increasing and ageing population requires a substantially larger, multidisciplinary public health service.

Towards this end, we look forward to engaging with all stakeholders to address these issues. – Yours, etc,

Dr EMER SHELLEY,

Dean,

Royal College

of Physicians of Ireland,

Faculty of Public

Health Medicine,

South Frederick Street,

Dublin 2.