Friday 20 April 2018

Lack of staff main reason for trainee doctors wanting to emigrate - new report

Photo: PA
Photo: PA

Eilish O’Regan

The lack of staff in hospitals is the main reason cited by trainee doctors who say they intend to emigrate, a new report has revealed.

Understaffing was blamed as the number one grievance driving them to work in the health services in countries like the UK, Australia and Canada.

The survey of trainee doctors was carried out by their  regulatory body the Medical Council which published its latest 2015 Your Training Counts report today.

It found there is some slight improvement in the brain drain with 58pc of trainees saying they see themselves practising in Ireland for the foreseeable future, up 4pc on 2014.

However one in five trainees intend to either definitely not (7pc) or probably not (13pc) practise medicine in Ireland.

This was highest among interns who are doing their first on-site year of hospital work after gaining their medical degree.

“The three largest influences on trainee intent to leave medical practice in Ireland were, understaffing in the workplace (82pc), carrying out too many non-core tasks (75pc), and limited career progression opportunities (72pc),” said the report.

It found junior doctors who were  bullied during training were more likely than those who were not to say they were leaving medical practise in Ireland.

Top destination countries for Irish doctors are the UK, Australia and Canada.

Medical Council President Professor Freddie Wood said: “Doctors in training are the future of our health service and it is absolutely essential that their voices are heard.

“Increasing numbers are emigrating in search of work elsewhere and the health sector therefore has to address the issues highlighted in the survey.”

Medical Council CEO Bill Prasifka commented :” “82pc of trainees who reported that they were considering practising medicine abroad said they were going to leave because their workplace was understaffed.

“Although we are acutely aware that this is an ongoing issue within the Irish Health service, it is our aim to ensure this information is highlighted across the health sector so that proportionate and targeted actions can be taken in key areas requiring reform thus enhancing the quality of training for these doctors.”


 “These findings are extremely useful as they will complement the quantitative information detailed in the Medical Council’s annual Medical Workforce Intelligence Report which we look forward to launching later this year.”

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