THE University of Limerick hopes to begin a course for paramedics next year, the head of the university’s Graduate Entry Medical School (GEMS).
Prof Mike Larvin was speaking at the official opening of the €15m GEMS building this week and said it was appropriate that the paramedics, nurses and doctors of the future would all study alongside one another in Limerick.
“Next year will see the commencement of a paramedic science course and those students, trained to be paramedics in the Irish health system, will learn alongside our medical students and also alongside the nursing students in the building next door,” said Prof Larvin.
“That is the way we work in the health service and it should also be the way that our students learn,” he added.
While it is currently in the planning stages, it is understood that UL’s ambition is to have a full degree course in paramedic science.
Other courses on offer at UL in the health sciences sphere include midwifery, physiotherapy and psychology while the school of engineering offers degrees in biomedical engineering and health informatics.
Prof Larvin said GEMS hoped to collaborate with other schools on the campus as UL carves out a niche for itself in medical and health research.
Construction continues on a clinical education and research centre on the campus of University Hospital Limerick Dooradoyle as part of a joint venture between the HSE and the university. UL president Prof Don Barry said this “state-of-the-art building” was on course to be open towards the end of next year.
Prof Barry expressed his thanks to Finance Minister Michael Noonan - who officially opened the GEMS Building on Monday - “for his support in securing European Investment Bank support for this project”.