How to boost consultant numbers


Sir, – I read with interest the article by Paul Cullen on dysfunctional recruitment rules for doctors (Analysis, Home News, June 29th).

He alludes to the lack of consultants in Ireland, with 450 posts left unfilled and the subsequent knock-on effects on waiting list times.

The resultant cost to the HSE in terms of agency recruitment is immense and it would be fiscally prudent to resource training posts appropriately in order to retain trained consultants on completion of satisfactory training.

It should be acknowledged that this not a new problem: for years Irish graduates, following dedicated years of service at junior level, have had to seek training places abroad due to an inadequate number of senior training posts.

The HSE needs to recognise that consultant expertise has been lost to different healthcare economies which if attracted home would ease waiting list times and improve overall patient management. – Yours, etc,