Dáil Éireann - Volume 554 - 09 October, 2002
Written Answers. - Postgraduate Courses.
Mr. Howlin Mr. Howlin
1093. Mr. Howlin asked the Minister for Health and Children if an application has been submitted to his Department by the Northern Area Health  Board in respect of funding for the salaries and fees of students which the board wishes to sponsor on the doctoral programme in clinical psychology in Trinity College; if so, when this application was received; if a decision on funding will be made before 1 October 2002 when the course is due to commence; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [16352/02]
Minister for Health and Children (Mr. Martin)
Minister for Health and Children (Mr. Martin): In June 2000, in response to the work of the joint review group on psychological services in the health services, which highlighted acute shortages of trained psychology personnel, my Department indicated to the existing providers ofpostgraduate training that, subject to certain strict conditions, it was prepared to offer funding to health agencies to support the provision of additional postgraduate psychology training places tocommence in the academic year 2000-01.
In September 2000, a bidding process involving health agencies was initiated by the Department for the provision of the increased places as soon as possible, following which a commitment for funding was given in November 2001 to the successful applicants for the creation of 30 trainee clinical psychologist posts and for the payment of course fees of €2,540.
Given the urgency of providing the additional training places, all the increased training places were allocated to the Psychological Society of Ireland's postgraduate diploma course for a period of three years since the other existing training providers were not in a position at that time to provide the places within the required timeframe.
In August 2002 the Northern Area Health Board applied for additional funding to be made available to support the provision of six extra places on the TCD programme. As the substantial funding allocated by my Department currently supporting the extra 30 PSI training places has been distributed to those agencies who participated in the bidding process in 2000, this request is being examined in the context of the 2003 funding position. My Department is continuing to work with the Department of Education and Science and the Higher Education Authority to ensure adequate provision of training places consistent with the human resource requirements of the health services.
Dáil Éireann 554 Written Answers. Postgraduate Courses.