Minister for Further and Higher Education must ensure Bank of Ireland continue with Graduate Entry Medicine loan

Senator Annie Hoey image
08 April 2022

Labour spokesperson on Further and Higher Education Senator Annie Hoey has demanded that the Minister engage with Bank of Ireland following the revelation of the winding up of the Graduate Entry Medicine (GEM) loan.

Senator Hoey said:

“The winding up of the GEM loan by Bank of Ireland is deeply concerning. As the last bank to offer this loan, it now means that many potential students will be unable to pursue a career in medicine due to the prohibitive cost of €16,000 in fees annually.

“This vital financial support has enabled students from a diverse range of backgrounds pursue the career of their dreams. The removal of the loan will have the effect of limiting the type of person who can be even consider a career in medicine. The reality is that pursuing this career path is prohibitively costly for most ordinary people.

“We hear plenty of platitudes from government about opening up third level education. The government must intervene and engage with Bank of Ireland and other financial institutions to bring back the GEM loan and provide some form of financial supports to those hoping to pursue this career path.

“In my role as member of the Oireachtas Health Committee, we consistently hear representations about the challenges with staffing retention and recruitment. If we are not even helping people take the first step here at home, how can we expect them to study here or stay here once qualified? Students need certainty and fairness.”

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