New €2.1 million doctor training programmes in eye care, genetic counselling

Health Minister Chris Fearne says allied health professionals need to be trained to meet the need of health service, as part of 10-year plan

Three new €2.1 million doctor training programmes, in eye care and genetic counselling, will train local professionals in sectors which are important for the future of the health service.

The programmes – two BSc degrees in orthoptics and optometry respectively, and a master’s degree in genetic counselling – are meant to provide training to allied health professionals who provide specialised health services, Chris Fearne said.

The Health Minister said that, in recent years, one of the major changes in the health service has been the emergence of specialities which did not traditionally exist.

“These are referred to as allied health professionals – they offer a specialised service in the health sector, such as physiotherapists, lab scientists, radiographers, speech-language pathologists, occupational therapists, psychologists, and so on,” he said.

The recruitment of more professionals in such sectors is an important part of the government 10-year 2020-2030 national health strategy, Fearne underlined, which he called “an ambitious project dealing with all aspects of health”.

 “We have launched these new programmes precisely because we know we will need a number of specialists,” he added.

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