In a significant development for the specialisation of doctors in Ireland, the Medical Council has recognised three new specialties, paving the way for enhanced education and training opportunities in the areas of:
A public consultation is also commencing as part of the assessment of the case for recognising Vascular Surgery as a medical specialty.
Recognition of specialties leads to the establishment of new specialist categories within the medical register. It enables doctors to pursue specialist training as new training programmes are developed and to register in the specialty which best suits their qualifications and practice, and is a further safeguard in enhancing patient care.
Intensive Care Medicine, Neonatology and Pain Medicine are the first new specialties to be recognised since 2008, and the Medical Council is now working with the relevant postgraduate medical training bodies in order to introduce these specialties to the specialist division of the medical register. Standards for assessment of applicants are currently being developed for use in the establishment of domestic training programmes and also to assess applicants who qualified in these specialties in other jurisdictions before they can be registered in these new areas.
The Council now recognises 55 specialties under the Medical Practitioners Act 2007. In line with international best practice in this area, public consultation was an important element of this process alongside detailed assessment by experts from inside and outside the state.
The process to recognise Vascular Surgery as a separate medical specialty is currently underway, and all interested parties have the chance to give their views on this process and inform the Council’s decision making. The consultation will remain open until 4th July 2014 and full details on this process can be found at Recognition of Vascular Surgery as a Specialty