Irish Medical Organisation

Medical Workforce Intelligence report confirms recruitment and retention crisis for doctors

Medical Workforce Intelligence report confirms recruitment and retention crisis for doctors


“Ireland is a cold-house for new Consultants” – IMO President


Thursday 10 April 2019.  The President of the IMO, Dr. Peadar Gilligan, has described the  Medical  Workforce Intelligence Report  published today as an alarm bell ringing to warn of a major crisis in  our health services.  The report confirms that the recruitment and retention crisis which the IMO has highlighted over the past 3 years is now inflicting real damage on our health services.  Irish qualified doctors are emigrating in droves but alarmingly, the report confirms that we are now losing doctors who have travelled to Ireland to work here but who don’t like what they are experiencing.  The report is published today by the Irish Medical Council.

Speaking today, Dr. Gilligan said that the prolonging of a two tier pay scale for Consultants based on the year in which they were hired is a major cause of the crisis: “Ireland is a cold house for Consultants and will remain so as long as the Government persists with the inequitable policy of paying new Consultants 30% less than colleagues hired before 2012 and doing the same job. That is why the Government can’t fill 500 empty posts across the country and that is directly leading to longer waiting times for patients.”

The report indicates that amongst the reasons cited by trainees for withdrawal from the Medical Register include limited opportunities for career progression, understaffing, concerns about safety, lack of flexible training options, expectation to carry out too many non-core tasks, and a lack of respect for doctors in our health service.  

The report also shows that  one quarter of those who left the Register left the Specialist Division (i.e.: Consultants). To an extent never seen before, we are losing our doctors at every stage of their careers. 

The IMO said that steps urgently need to be taken to tackle this crisis in our medical workforce, and ensure that we recruit and retain a sufficient number of doctors to provide the care needed for our growing and aging population.

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