Bring Equality to NHS funding for NI Postgraduate Medical Students

Bring Equality to NHS funding for NI Postgraduate Medical Students

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Cailean Dolan started this petition to Robin Swann and

There's a discrepancy in funding for Medical Students in NI.

Undergraduate Medicine is generally a 5 year course, reflecting the additional learning and clinical practice required for the formation and education of future Doctors. Due to the extra length of time demanded in comparison to other courses, and the lack of funding from the student loan company for the final year, the NHS pays the tuition fees for all final year students throughout the UK.
This is with a single exception - if you are a postgraduate student in NI, you are expected to self-fund this final year. No other part of the UK expects this from those who already have built up significant debt, who must, year on year, pay for their second degree up front.

This came as quite a shock to me who assumed the application of a unilateral approach to funding in the UK, especially with the demands of NI for doctors. Mature postgraduates are more likely to be at the stage to settle down, and discouraging them from studying in NI for financial reasons could lead to lifelong relocation elsewhere. Clearly with the new Medical School at Magee campus, the value of additional postgraduate medics in Northern Ireland for the years ahead has been recognised, and with a post graduate cohort being utilised here, additional skills and maturity can potentially be brought into the future work force. 

However, it does again highlight my pressing concern and interest in the asymmetrical and unfair treatment of postgraduate medical students presently at QUB. By not funding the final year of QUB medical postgraduates, unlike their undergraduate counterparts, who had no alternative Magee campus with a 4 year course available when we were starting, Northern Ireland stands as an outlier in the UK by refusing to fund the final year of postgraduates.
Venturing to QUB should not disproportionately impact future postgrad Doctors. Committing to prior debts and a previous degree should not beget inferior funding and treatment. It certainly feels like postgraduates are being penalised for undertaking additional years of education, pushing themselves through further rigorous years of university - this commitment should be recognised, and praised not punished.
I have asked Health Minister Robin Swann about this, but to no avail.
I want to help out at home, which is why I have volunteered as a medical student technician in these trying times, but help should be reciprocated. In addition, PG students here get a ‘double whammy’ - no loans for fees & no NHS bursary. The lack of availability of both the loan and bursary may discourage PG students from taking either course in NI.
I am asking you to please support my bid to have this decision to under-fund postgraduate medical students in NI re-examined, and to transition to be in line with UK wide policy. There is no justice in putting medical students, who due to the bulk of material and contact hours, have no ability to work full time whilst studying, future carers who in times like now are being cried out for, under needless stress and strain.
Thank you for your time,

Kind Regards,

Cailean Dolan
Postgraduate Medical Student (Queen's University Belfast)




Addendum - this petition is being published in the context of no longer receiving recognition for your prior degree in the UK Foundation Programme. The lack of even fair warning for this decision is another red flag indicating toward substandard treatment of postgraduate medical students

0 have signed. Let’s get to 2,500!
At 2,500 signatures, this petition is more likely to get picked up by local news!