Ministers Harris and Donnelly announce significant increase in the number of medicine places in Irish medical schools over the next five years
Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science Simon Harris TD and Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly TD have today announced an agreement with the Irish medical schools to increase the number of places available for EU students by 200 over the next five years.
The agreement reached with the medical schools will begin with an additional 60 EU students in September 2022, climbing to 120 in September 2023, and up to 200 by 2026.
Welcoming the agreement, Minister Harris said: “These places have been created following extensive engagement over the last few months with all Irish Medical Schools.
“It marks a significant expansion in the number of places available to students applying through the CAO system. It increases the opportunities for students to progress to study medicine in Ireland and to help us build our talent pipeline.
“I very much welcome the engagement of the medical schools with my Department and the Department of Health in creating these places for students starting 2022 and growing over the coming years.
“It is vital as we expand and reform our third level system that we prioritise the areas where there is the most need and healthcare is one of those.”
Minister Donnelly added: “The creation of these places, allowing for an increase in the number of medical students graduating, is an important step to enable my Department and the HSE to plan for the future health workforce. We are all aware of the demands we place on those working in the healthcare system, particularly since the onset of the pandemic.
“By increasing the number of doctors in the system, we are taking a step towards addressing the needs of the entire system, to allow it to continue to respond and allowing some much needed support for those frontline workers who have managed so well, caring for people over the course of the pandemic.”
The additional places will be funded jointly by the Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, and the Department of Health.
Minister Harris also updated Government colleagues on ongoing engagement with universities in Northern Ireland on allowing Irish students apply for medicine courses through the CAO system.