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GOVERNANCE - President's Review
a consistent commitment to the best
patient care. As Charles Mayo (1865-1939)
of the Mayo Clinic and an Honorary Fellow
of RCSI (1921) put it: "The safest thing for
a patient is to be in the hands of a man
engaged in teaching medicine. In order to
be a teacher of medicine the doctor must
always be a student."
Physician Associates.
As we are all too well aware, the Irish
health system is facing unprecedented
workforce challenges. RCSI has decided to
explore the role which Physician Associates
(PA's), clinicians who are academically
qualified to provide medical and surgical
services to patients in a range of settings
under the supervision of doctors, might
play and how they might resolve some
of the difficulties in fully staffing a clinical
service. The first four PAs to work in Ireland
are all from North America and have
been employed by Beaumont Hospital, in
association with RCSI, as part of a two-
year pilot programme to evaluate the role
of the PA in the Irish health system. In an
additional first for the Irish health service,
RCSI has launched a new postgraduate
training programme for PAs, which is due
to commence in January 2016.
Medical and Health Sciences
During the past year, RCSI continued to
make a major contribution to shaping the
future of healthcare globally through our
commitment to the highest standards of
education, training and practice across
our four campuses. In June, our Dublin
Medical School graduated its largest class
ever, with 282 students receiving their
medical degrees.
Our overseas campuses continue to
expand their activities and make significant
advances in education and training. In
November 2014, Bahrain celebrated its
10th anniversary, marking a decade of
delivering undergraduate medical training.
The previous month, RCSI Bahrain's School
of Medicine underwent an intensive review
of its undergraduate medical teaching
programme by the Irish Medical Council.
The School of Medicine was awarded
full accreditation for the next five years
following this review.
Perdana University RCSI School of
Medicine, Kuala Lumpur, continues to
develop the College's long-standing
educational involvement in the country
and, in a major milestone for the School, in
excess of 50 students will enter their final
year, in September 2015 and graduate
the following June. The appointment
of Professor David Adams, who took
up the post of Dean on August 1, 2014,
is welcomed and augurs well for future
growth and innovation at the Perdana
University RCSI School of Medicine.
Penang Medical College (PMC) received
confirmation from the Malaysian Medical
Council and Malaysian Qualification
Agency that it has been accredited until
April 2018. In a substantial addition to
the School's physical infrastructure, a new
PMC Satellite Clinical Skills and Education
Centre was completed adjacent to the
Seberang Jaya Hospital and officially
opened by the Chief Minister of Penang.
This hospital is one of two major specialist
Ministry of Health hospitals used as a
teaching resource by PMC students.
Engagement across Ireland
Engagement with the wider healthcare
profession and, in particular, our Fellows
and Members is a priority for RCSI and a
crucial part of the Presidential calendar.
During the past 12 months, I have
attended the Sir Peter Freyer Meeting
in NUI Galway; the Waterford Surgical
Meeting; the Leonard Abrahamson
Lecture in Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital,
Drogheda; and the Sylvester O'Halloran
Surgical Scientific Symposium.
We held very worthwhile Out of Town
Fellows and Members meetings in Cork in
January 2015 and in Enniskillen in June.
The Enniskillen meeting followed an
academic meeting earlier in the day
between the RCSI School of Medicine
and the South West Acute Hospital.
Since 2012, students from both Queen's
University Belfast and the Royal College of
Surgeons in Ireland have been accessing
undergraduate medical education in
the Hospital, under the guidance of a
dedicated team of medical Consultants
within the Western Trust.
We took the opportunity to unveil a
plaque, recognising the South West Acute
Hospital as a teaching hospital of RCSI and
it was a real pleasure for me to be back in
my home county and to acknowledge and
celebrate this cross border educational
The Out of Town meeting took place later
on the same day at the Lough Erne Resort,
and drew a strong attendance from both
north and south of the border. There was
an excellent response from those who
attended and it is evident that there is
now an opportunity to deepen existing
links. One immediate outcome has been
a decision to hold an out-of-town Council
Meeting in Belfast in May 2016, to coincide
with the Association of Surgeons of Great
Britain & Ireland Annual Congress.
Landmark for global surgery
At the Sixty-Eighth World Health Assembly
on May 22, 2015, Ministers of Health from
around the world approved the World
Health Organisation Resolution 68/31 on
Strengthening Emergency and Essential
Surgical Care and Anaesthesia, which
recognises that surgery and anaesthesia
are fundamental to achieving universal
health coverage. This Resolution follows
consistent, long-term advocacy efforts by
RCSI and the wider healthcare community.
The impact of such universal access to
surgical and anaesthesia care was recently
highlighted by the report of The Lancet
Commission, which stated that 15 million
deaths per year could be averted. The
report also concluded that essential
surgical procedures rank among the most
cost-effective of all health interventions.
Clearly, it is vital that governments provide
direct funding for domestic surgical
training initiatives. This support is critical
to the long-term sustainability and success
of surgical training institutions in Sub-
Saharan Africa, one of which, the College
of Surgeons of East, Central and Southern
Africa (COSECSA) has been a long-term
partner of RCSI. During the Geneva event,
I had the opportunity to address a large
number of Health Ministers and First
Secretaries from Sub-Saharan Africa to
advocate for resources for COSECSA.
RCSI has continued
to lead the way
through innovation
and achievement in
healthcare training
and practice,
nationally and