Foreign doctors getting €2,000 incentive
JUNIOR doctors from India and Pakistan are getting incentive packages of almost €2,000 each to encourage them to work in Irish hospitals.
Around 200 doctors recruited in India and Pakistan are getting €700 each towards the cost of their air fare and another €100 a week for eight weeks to subsidise their rent.
The €375 registration fee for the Medical Council and the €60 visa fee will also be paid, bringing the value of the total package up to €1,935.
Meanwhile, several hospitals were left with a shortage of junior doctors yesterday and had to cancel some non-emergency operations and clinics in advance.
And the emergency department in Mullingar Hospital had to divert ambulances to other units for two-and-half hours.
The department had 20 patients on trolleys yesterday morning after a number of local outdoor events sparked a rise in people seeking urgent medical attention for injuries.
A spokeswoman for Mullingar Hospital said the emergency department remained open but had to divert ambulances to other hospitals from lunchtime to 3.30pm.
The hospital is short of two junior doctors but said that more recruits were due to arrive later this week.
Around 150 jobs remain unfilled nationally, forcing hospitals to put contingency measures in place.
There were 19 vacancies unfilled in the Louth-Meath hospital group, including three in Cavan General and five in Connolly Hospital.
"This situation is expected to evolve in the coming days and weeks as permanent appointees from India and Pakistan -- currently going through registration with the Medical Council -- take up posts," said a spokeswoman.