Medical careers and admissions test


Sir, – The proposal of Dr Chris Luke (August 19th) to remove the HPAT ( Health Professions Admission Test) as a measure to persuade newly qualified doctors to remain in Ireland highlights the ongoing disconnect between non-consultant hospital doctors and their senior colleagues in medical and management positions.

It is disappointing that the debate on how best to stem the outflow of medics from Ireland continues to focus on the use of mandatory service or short-term “bargaining chips”.

Addressing poor training conditions, failures to implement mandatory working-hour limits and the disproportionate reduction in salary for new-entrant consultants should be the priorities of our senior colleagues.

Until the welfare of non-consultant hospital doctors and newly appointed consultants is made a priority, rather than efforts to restrict movement in a global market, doctors will continue to exit the Irish system in large numbers in favour of improved working conditions. – Yours, etc,


Lower Rathmines Road,

Dublin 6.

A chara, – Dr Chris Luke’s suggestion to get would-be medical students to sign-up to a six-month stint in areas of medical manpower shortage must surely be a runner, if for no other reason than its simplicity.

A failure to live up to the commitment, on the part of the newly qualified doctor, might be discouraged by a financial sanction, such as the reimbursement to the State of the cost of that medical education. – Is mise,


Ballycasey Manor,


Co Clare.