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Medical Council report shows exodus of doctors from health service – O’Reilly

11 April, 2019 - by Louise O'Reilly TD

Speaking this afternoon following the launch of the Medical Council’s Medical Workforce Intelligence Report, Sinn Féin health spokesperson Louise O’Reilly TD said the report confirmed anecdotal evidence of the worrying exodus of doctors from the State.

Teachta O’Reilly said:

“The Medical Council’s 2016/2017 workforce report launched today makes for stark reading and it confirmed anecdotal evidence of the worrying exodus of doctors from the State.

“The report outlined how 2,830 doctors withdrew from the medical register between 2015 and 2017.

“Of those surveyed who withdrew, 53% were aged under 35 and left to pursue medicine in another jurisdiction.

“The report further outlined the destinations which doctors were leaving Ireland for - 37% of doctors stated they were moving to Britain to practise medicine, 19% to Australia and 27% to another jurisdiction.

“The reasons cited in the report for doctors leaving the register are a damning indictment of the health service under Fine Gael and of Minister Harris’s performance in his role.

“The reasons given for leaving ranged from the expectation to carry out non-core tasks, to a lack of flexible training options, underpinned with an ability to learn more abroad, to a lack of employer support.

“However, the report makes specific reference to workplace understaffing and the additional hours expected to work playing a part in doctors deciding to leave.

“We have known anecdotally that a huge number of doctors are being forced out of the health service due to working conditions and the failure of the health service under this Fine Gael government, and this report confirms this.

“The government need to immediately sit down with doctor’s representative bodies and try and resolve these issues so that our health service is an attractive and welcoming place for doctors to work. If they do not do this then we will continue to see an exodus of doctors and the continuation of a recruitment and retention crisis.” 

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