36 foreign doctors in place since March ‘19

Over a hundred and twenty foreign doctors have been recruited to ‘hard-to-fill’ medical posts in the Western Trust over the past five years, it’s been revealed.

Twenty-eight per cent of these staff were recruited to the local health authority over the past year the Health Minister Robin Swann confirmed when asked about the retention of staff by Foyle MLA Gary Middleton.

“The International Medical Recruitment Programme within the Western Trust was established in 2015 and has to date successfully appointed 127 doctors to the Trust.

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“Thirty-six of these doctors have been appointed since March 2019. Doctors have been appointed across a range of specialties, including areas which have been notoriously difficult to fill. This includes Emergency Medicine, Radiology, Oncology, Gastroenterology, Neurology and Ophthalmology,” said Mr. Swann.

The Department of Health has also been assisting the Western Trust with the reruitment of nurses.

“There is also regional investment by the Department to facilitate the recruitment of international nurses.

“This project was first set up in 2016 and the HSC are committed to recruiting 622 nurses by March 2020, although this may be delayed by some months.

“The Western Trust have so far welcomed 64 new nurses and have 41 live offers undergoing pre-employment checks,” he said.