Pilot Transnational Exchange

Ireland exchange
Dr Meike Harmening GP pictured between Mrs Linda Saunderson and Mr Wesley Henderson of the Ireland Recruit and Retain Team

A recent exchange initiative within the “Recruit and Retain” project between transnational partners has been labelled a success.  This programme was created as a pilot to enable professionals to gain exposure to rural or peripheral areas in another country across the Northern Periphery region to help motivate and inspire personnel on rural healthcare. 

A General Practitioner Dr Meike Harmening, originally from Germany now living and working in Southern Lapland, Sweden completed an observational spell in May 2013 over the period of a fortnight between a number of rural General Practice facilities in North Donegal, Fermanagh and a tour of the newly constructed acute hospital.  The visit enabled local GPs, GP registrars and other rural practitioners to find out about rural medicine in Sweden as well the opportunity of sharing knowledge on local techniques, information management, patient safety and practice management. 

Amongst her findings Dr Harmening commented than in Ireland there is a high level of administration attached to the GP role, yet acknowledged in Sweden more patient related tasks appear to be allocated to other health care professionals. 
It is anticipated a local rural practitioner from Ireland will visit Sweden over the next few months with the aim of viewing how rural practice operates in a Scandinavian country and cascade this information back to fellow GPs, GP trainees and other healthcare colleagues.


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