3,000 doctors voluntarily withdraw from medical register in two years

Almost 3,000 doctors voluntarily withdrew from the medical register between 2015 and 2017, it has emerged.

More than a third (37%) left to move to Britain to practise medicine, while almost one in five (19%) went to Australia and more than a quarter (27%) to another jurisdiction, according to those who gave a reason.

The Medical Council's Workforce Intelligence Report points to a variety of reasons for voluntary withdrawal from the register including being able to earn more abroad.

Some doctors said they were expected to carry out too many non-core tasks and there was a lack of respect by senior colleagues and employers.

Doctors complained of workplace understaffing in Ireland, issues relating to the European Working Time Directive and the hours they were expected to work.

President of the Medical Council, Dr Rita Doyle, said the situation is leading to an over-reliance on overseas-trained doctors, which is escalating.

The report warns that cultural challenges within the Irish health system need to be addressed, in tandem with an increase in the supply of doctors, otherwise retention will remain a growing issue.

The Irish Medical Organisation says the report confirms that the recruitment and retention crisis is now inflicting real damage on health services.

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