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he Health Service Executive Medical Education
and Training (MET) unit is developing a medical
manpower planning system with the aim of
establishing a forecasting capability that will
facilitate effective matching of training needs
to workforce requirement projections for a
predictive window of, ultimately, up to 10 years. Professor Eilis
McGovern, FRSCI, National Programme Director for Medical
Education and Training (MET) in the HSE spoke to Surgical
Scope about the new system.
The responsibility for medical workforce planning was added to
the portfolio of tasks at the MET unit, when Professor McGovern
took over as National Programme Director in 2012. At that stage,
while the unit was responsible for the additional work stream, it
did not have the additional staff to implement it. The unit was
resourced, in June and September of 2013, with two dedicated staff
to focus on the initiative and work on the project began.
The new medical workforce planning system is not being
developed in isolation, Professor McGovern explains: "Workforce
planning in the HSE is already in place. It encompasses all
staffing needs for the Executive and includes medical workforce
requirements as just one part of its remit. Equally, the Department
of Health carries out workforce planning to forecast overall human
resources requirements in the sector.
"However, the development of a specific medical manpower
planning system will enable a specific focus on the medical
workforce and how it responds to dynamics of the healthcare
sector. Medical manpower planning will liaise closely with the
HSE and the Department to ensure that there is integration with
their existing workforce planning functions. This should enable
the system to create efficiencies and streamline procedures in
alignment with the broader workforce planning structures, for
instance, in identifying a task carried out by a doctor that could
be carried out by a nurse or identifying aspects of chronic disease
management dealt with in hospitals that could be more effectively
handled in the community, i.e. by GPs. This integrated type of
approach is essential."
The Consultants Appointments Unit (CAU) has now also been
located at the MET and this is a significant advance, Professor
McGovern believes. It means that strategic planning for the
Professor Eilis McGovern.
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