Doctors of the future need more technology training
Tomorrow's doctors, nurses, physiotherapists and radiographers need to have a more rounded knowledge of emerging technologies which benefit patients and also learn the skills to work in a team, Prof Des Fitzgerald, Principal of the UCD College of Health Sciences has warned.
Prof Fitzgerald was speaking at the launch of the Beacon Hospital Academy, a new centre for educating and training UCD healthcare students.
The centre in Beacon Hospital in Sandyford, south Dublin, which was opened by Health Minister Leo Varadkar, will see the students trained for interdisciplinary teamwork.
They will also learn about medical devices which now allow patients who have undergone hospital care, such as orthopaedic procedures, to be discharged home early while being monitored by medical and other staff.
The technological sensing devices which allow more people to be treated at home will also benefit patients who have chronic diseases such as diabetes.
The training link-up is the most comprehensive yet between an academic institution and a private hospital.
Prof Mark Redmond, chief of staff at Beacon Hospital, said the "pioneering initiative will combine the best of both public and private sector skill sets and we look forward to many years of educating future leaders in healthcare".
"Beacon Hospital has over 200 consultants and over 630 staff providing healthcare and we believe our partnership with UCD will create an enhanced environment for treating patients," he said.
He added that as a first step the partnership will develop programmes for undergraduate and graduate medical students, initially for approximately 20 students in each of two clinical years of the UCD medical curriculum.
Added to this are programmes for medical and nursing trainees, including interns and senior house officers as well as for other healthcare professionals, including physiotherapy and radiography.
Michael Cullen chief executive and chairman of the Beacon Medical Group said the hospital will benefit from around €20m in investment in the next two years.
Mr Varadkar, who is on a drive to encourage more doctors to remain in Ireland to train, said he would like to see more of a partnership between public and private hospitals.
He said the economy is in recovery and the "future is bright."