Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Reverse Discrimination

Frank Prendergast wants to be an Irish doctor. He's an Irish citizen, studied hard in Irish schools, but there's no place for him in Irish medical schools. Only so many spots to go around for Irish students. Have to save room for those who aren't arriving from the European Union.

Mr. Prendergast has gone to court, to force a medical school to let him.

He was willing to pay the same rate as a non-EU student, to take up a slot that's held open for foreigners to fill, but the Minister of Education said no. Irish students had to earn 570 point and Mr. Prendergast only had 550. No room at the inn for someone falling short of the mark.

If EU students weren't limited to a certain number, Mr. Prendergast feels that he would have gotten his placement and he'd be off to medical school. He's being discriminated against because he's Irish, and is being made to suffer because of quotas. A non-EU student can get in to the medical school with lower grades, and only because they have places set aside just for them. Places that are not available to the Irish.

The plaintiff would like the courts to eliminate the quota system, to end the practice of setting quotas that are unfair to the natives. It's not as if the non-EU group are plucked from disadvantaged countries who are desperate for medical personnel. But they do pay higher fees, which is always a consideration when it's time to prepare the annual budget.

Perhaps there needs to be a quota system for those who will pay a higher rate, rather than base the fees on country of origin. That way everyone gets what they're after.

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