Irish Medical Organisation

IMO seriously concerned at the lack of action in terms of real change

Medical Council’s Annual Report demonstrates some key problems with our health services

IMO seriously concerned at the lack of action in terms of real change

Thursday 25th August 2016 The IMO has expressed serious concern at a number of findings in the Medical Council Report which was published today and which vindicate many of the concerns expressed by doctors over the past number of years. 

•       The Report expresses a concern around systems in the HSE in relation to supporting doctors.  A detailed analysis of the complaints and the underlying causes is needed so as to ensure we learn from patient complaints and put in place systems to address the core issues.  Doctors are working in an increasingly stressful and under resourced environment and we need to see to what extent this is a contributing factor and what changes we can make to ensure communication issues are not a cause of complaint in the future

•       The Report notes the rapidly changing face of the medical workforce with more and more females taking up medicine.  However the Government and HSE continue to fail to acknowledge and work on the changes required in terms of flexible training opportunities and an environment that supports career development so as to ensure we have doctors for the future.

•       The Report confirms that Ireland has one of the highest reliance on international medical graduates.  While our overseas colleagues make an invaluable contribution to the running of our service the statistics support the fact that we are unable to retain or recruit Irish medics who are choosing to work in systems that respect and value their skills.  According to OECD statistics, Ireland has the highest reliance on foreign trained doctors in the EU yet produces more medical graduates from its universities than any other EU state, two facts that demonstrate the extent of Ireland’s problem with graduate and doctor retention. Ireland possesses one of the lowest numbers of practising doctors, per population, in the EU

•       The Report clearly demonstrates the particular problems for the future in certain specialties, most particularly in General Practice. 

•       The Report notes that the number of doctors registered with the Medical Council is more than 20,000 however this bears no relation to the number of doctors working in our public health services, or indeed anywhere in Ireland and is not a reflection of the true problems with medical manpower.

Speaking today Dr John Duddy, President of the IMO said “Much of the data contained in the Medical Council Annual Report supports the position of the IMO in relation to the current shortage and predicted future shortage of doctors and the urgent need to create more supportive working environments that will benefit patients and doctors.  We hope the Department of Health and the HSE will see this as an opportunity to work with the IMO to improve our structures so as to ensure a better patient experience and a better working environment for doctors.”


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