Geriatric Medicine in Ireland

Training in Geriatric Medicine in Ireland is under the auspices of the Institute of Medicine in the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland (RCPI), with Higher Specialist Training generally covering Geriatric and General Internal Medicine over 5 years with a clearly defined curriculum. The ISPGM was a member of the the UEMS Geriatric Medicine Section (the body that advises the European Union on training standards for medical specialties) from its initiation in 1997.

RCPI in conjunction with the ISPGM has been running Certificates/Diplomas in Medicine for Older People. In 2010, the Irish government chose interRAI as the needs assessment tool for older people across care sectors, a decade later, progress in implementation has been slow and piecemeal.

Irish geriatricians and trainees in geriatric medicine input into the national forum for research on ageing, the Irish Gerontological Society, which incorporates all branches of gerontology and is one of the oldest gerontological societies in the world. They are also active in international conferences in geriatric medicine and gerontology.

Official Irish government policy on healthcare for older people is based on The Years Ahead from 1988, with further elements outlined in a National Positive Ageing Strategy in 2013. This strategy covers a range of government departments, including Justice, Equality and Law Reform; Social Protection; Education and Skills; Housing and Local Government; Transport; Health; Statistics – but it is a cause of concern that the annual progress reports do not seem to have been sent to Cabinet Committee on Social Policy as committed to in the strategy.