Irish Medical Organisation

IMO responds to remarks made by Minister for State Kathleen Lynch during Daily Questions

Government deluded in hoping Doctors working abroad will return to Ireland

Urgent action needed to stop further emigration

Thursday 27th November 2014.  The Irish Medical Organisation says it is appalling that the Government continues to ignore the root causes of doctors leaving the Irish Health System and warns that unless urgent action is taken “further emigration will bleed this country dry of talented and skilled medical practitioners”.    The IMO was responding to remarks made by Minister of State Kathleen Lynch at Dáil questions today when, in a response to a question on vacancies in the health services, she stated that a lot of qualified people like to travel but she hoped they would return to Ireland once they had “got the travel bug out of their system”.

Dr John Duddy, Vice President of the IMO said, “these remarks show a complete lack of understanding and respect for our doctors who have no choice but to leave this country.    The research states quite clearly why doctors are leaving but the Government fails time and time again to address these issues. Doctors want, need and deserve better working conditions, structured and effective training to further their skills and abilities and the opportunity to practice in a functioning health system that respects its employees and puts patients first.   Instead they get a health service which blatantly dis-respects their ability and dedication so they are forced to seek opportunities abroad.  The travel bug is a smoke screen.   The reality is doctors are leaving our shores and are not coming back.  The Government is deluded in hoping doctors working abroad will return to Ireland.   They need to recognise and act on the root causes of why doctors are leaving the Irish Health System otherwise matters will just get worse.”

  • There are almost 300 vacant consultant posts in this country and where these are being filled the majority are by Locum doctors. 
  • The Medical Council Report (2015) shows that only 22% of trainees said they would definitely stay in Ireland.
  • The RSCI Study (2015) clearly outlines the reasons for emigration as being general disrespect from HSE, working conditions, training and career progression. 

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