IMO statement: Doctors depart

Ray Walley

THOUGH he may have said it before, there was something chilling about the import of the statement by Irish Medical Organisation president Ray Walley that family doctors are leaving Ireland for the UK at a rate of one a day.

While the exodus taking place may not be on a par with the crippling brain drain after the economic collapse was inflicted by greedy developers, feckless bankers and inept politicians, it is all the more shocking because it is largely invisible.

GPs are leaving in droves because of the poor working conditions in the Irish health service, according to the doctors’ union which is holding its AGM in Sligo.

Between 2009 and 2013, more than 1,000 GPs had emigrated to Britain and one in five trainees also intended to leave. Morale among doctors is so bad that half of them are in debt and regret not pursuing another career.

Against the backdrop of the bid to form a government, this AGM can be expected to give doctors more ammunition to fíre at politicians.


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