New figures confirm the “catastrophic consultant” shortage, the Irish Medical Organisation has claimed.
According to the latest health statistics from the OECD, Ireland has the lowest number of consultant specialists in the EU.
The European average is 2.45 per 1,000 population but Ireland lingers far below that at just 1.44 per 1,000.
The figures published by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development show that the number of Irish doctors working abroad continues to increase.
According to the intergovernmental economic organisation that has 36 member countries, there are 1,179 Irish doctors now working in Australia, a 40% increase since 2013.
There are 1,717 Irish doctors working in Canada and the number of doctors emigrating to Britain each year has increased by a third since 2013.
IMO president Dr Padraig McGarry said the figures were yet another indictment of the Government's lack of regard for the medical profession in Ireland.
“They are further proof that our system is broken and needs immediate action,” he said.
“The sad reality is that our youngest doctors, the specialists of the future, simply do not want to work in a system where they are not respected, where they are completely unable to provide the care that they have been trained to give and where one in three doctors suffer from burnout.”
When Minister for Health Simon Harris attended the IMO's annual general meeting in April he promised to work with the doctors' body to find a process to end the issue of new entrant consultant pay.
“We are still waiting, as are the 500,000 patients currently on waiting lists who are in need of care that cannot be currently delivered,” said Dr McGarry.
The IMO is concerned that Ireland is training doctors for export. It produces one of the highest numbers of medical graduates in the EU yet some advertisements for consultant posts are not attracting any applicants.
“The lack of specialists in Ireland means that it is impossible for patients in our hospitals to get access to the high levels of care that they deserve. This dire situation must be addressed as a matter of urgency,” said Dr McGarry.