Opinion Comment

Saturday 22 July 2017

Why are so many of our young medics going abroad?

Close-up of a young female caring doctor
Close-up of a young female caring doctor
Eilish O'Regan

Eilish O'Regan

IT'S called the "July effect" and is based on studies and experience showing that patient accidents increase during one of the twice-yearly occasions when junior doctors in training switch hospitals.

In the next few weeks thousands of junior doctors, the journeymen of the health service, will be taking up their next six-month training stint in new and unfamiliar surroundings. They'll be working with a different team who have their own system of looking after patients.

Yet again, this will be made even more difficult because there are not enough of them, or even senior doctors, particularly in areas like emergency departments. Patients are likely to be met with a doctor from overseas, who moved here to train, prompting questions about why so many young medics, who have received medical education worth up to €100,000 from the taxpayer, are now looking after patients in the UK, Australia or Canada.

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