Surgical training and the RCSI

 

Sir, – In response to Prof Damian McCormack’s letter to you (“Surgical training and the RCSI”, November 20th), the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI) would like to ensure your readers are properly informed on the status of the RCSI training programmes.

The RCSI is recognised and accredited by the Medical Council of Ireland as a medical school and the postgraduate medical training body for the delivery of surgical training in Ireland. The RCSI has a detailed service-level agreement with the HSE for the provision of a range of national surgical training programmes. This is done in accordance with the highest standards of transparency and accountability as required by all publicly funded services.

The RCSI delivers a surgical training curriculum that is jointly developed and quality assured by the Joint Colleges Surgical Training Committee (JCST). This international body (jointly governed by the four Royal Colleges of Surgeons in Ireland and the UK) ensures that Irish surgical training meets the highest international standards.

The quality of our surgical trainees is second to none and they are in demand internationally. Most choose to work here in Ireland, where each year they deliver high-quality patient care to more and more patients, despite limited resources. The problems of waiting lists are more to do with a chronic underinvestment in our health services and the failure to create sufficient adequately resourced consultant posts for our excellent trainees and surgeons. – Yours, etc,

Prof JOHN HYLAND,

President,

Royal College of Surgeons

in Ireland,

Dublin 2.

Sir, – My esteemed colleagues in the ethics office in the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland find fault with my concerns regarding the monopoly RCSI enjoys over surgical training (November 22nd).

I welcome their input and seek their further advice.

They might comment on the ethics of the said monopoly, given that medical graduates from all public medical colleges must attend (and pay) RCSI if they wish to pursue surgical training.

They might comment on the ethics of the privatisation of medical education, and why fees for such an education are in excess of €50,000 per year per student.

They might justify the building of a “virtual hospital” in the St Stephen’s Green campus at a cost of €70 million, when real RCSI facilities like Beaumont hospital are severely under-resourced, forcing public patients to sleep on trollies.

They might address the ethical issue of the RCSI’s charitable status and its very significant national and international property portfolios.

They might also comment on the ethical implications of a private medical school hosting, with charitable status, the Ireland Saudi Arabia Business Council.

They might explain how the RCSI and the Irish Medical Council accredit militarised hospitals in Bahrain for medical training, contrary to World Federation of Medical Education guidelines, and indeed what they would say to RCSI alumni who were tortured in Bahrain in 2011 by the regime which controls that same military. – Yours, etc,

Prof DAMIAN McCORMACK,

Howth,

Co Dublin.