The British Medical Association Northern Ireland (BMA NI) says a new graduate medical school in Magee must be accessible to students from disadvantaged backgrounds and be complemented by an increase in medical training posts to prevent us exporting doctors and nurses after training them.
Chair of Northern Ireland Medical Students Committee, Molly Kerr, was speaking about the proposals during her address to BMA’s Annual Representative Meeting (ARM) 2016, the yearly UK-wide gathering of BMA’s members which is being held this week in Belfast’s waterfront hall.
She said: “A new medical school ought to address the need to widen participation to medicine by implementing measures to ensure those from lower socio-economic backgrounds are not in any way disadvantaged as they seek to embark on their medical career.
“Furthermore, any increase in medical student places ought to be accompanied by an appropriate increase in the number of medical training posts. “Without a rise in the number of post-graduate training positions to accompany any increase in the number of medical students being trained per year, we risk losing medical students to the other nations or indeed further afield, after having invested in their training at a local university.
“Overall, if the above criteria are acknowledged and properly addressed, this proposal of a new medical school could be a real solution to workforce planning issues. However necessary University of Ulster must recognise the criteria outlined in this motion, in order for this to be sustainable, realistic and for the overall benefit of those embarking on a career in the medical profession and the health service of Northern Ireland.”