Statement by the Irish Medical Organisation - OECD figures
“If the OECD is to be believed, Ireland is the only country in the world where doctors are running away to find lower paid jobs overseas” – Dr. Ray Walley, President of the IMO
Wednesday 8th July 2015. The Council of the IMO has described figures on pay for health professionals in Ireland published by the OECD today as misleading and unhelpful. The IMO said the figures didn’t compare like-with-like and their publication would exacerbate the difficulties of solving the shortage of doctors in our health services.
Speaking today Dr Ray Walley, President of the IMO said “If the OECD is to be believed, Ireland is the only country in the world where doctors are running away to find lower paid jobs overseas. When the facts don’t match the reality on the ground, the OECD needs to re-evaluate its methodology and the facts in this instance simply do not match the reality on the ground.”
Dr. Walley criticized in particular inconsistencies in the methodology used by the OECD and the failure to compare like-with-like. He highlighted, for example, the figures from the UK, France and Germany which include doctors in training thus leading to a significantly lower average pay level. He also noted that the report does not take into account any additional payments available in other countries such as supports or allowances.”
Dr Walley said that the real statistic that Ireland should be concerned about is the continuing crisis in retaining Irish trained doctors in the public health system and attracting any new doctors to the system. "This Government has buried its head in the sand for many years as we have witnessed highly trained doctors going to work in countries where they are valued and resourced appropriately. The simple fact is that Ireland fails to attract doctors and we currently have a situation where more than 300 consultant posts are not filled and in many cases are not attracting any suitably qualified applicants. Our NCHDs see no viable future in the system and continue to pursue their medical careers abroad and we are now seeing an exodus of both established and training GPs. If Ireland is so attractive in terms of resources what is making our doctors choose to work elsewhere?”
The IMO has previously expressed concern as to the data used by the OECD and has called for a more transparent system which allows for real comparison between the terms and conditions of doctors across Europe. The current reporting methodology makes these numbers meaningless given element of self reporting, the lack of consistency and the absence of context.