NEW legislation aimed at speeding up the applications of junior doctors willing to work in Irish hospitals will take another week before it can take effect.
Many hospitals are facing a serious shortage of junior doctors from Monday which will force some services to be curtailed or suspended.
The Government is introducing new legislation that will allow doctors from India and Pakistan to apply for temporary registration with the Medical Council and have it tied to a two-year work contract.
A spokeswoman for the Medical Council said that -- in the event of legislation being passed to amend the 2007 Medical Practitioners Act -- it will devise rules which will outline the eligibility criteria.
This will include examination and assessment, which must be met for registration. The draft rules will then be formalised following a public consultation process.
"Given the immediate imperative to recruit NCHDs (junior doctors ), this process will be concluded within a period of about a week," the spokeswoman added.
So far 207 doctors have made an initial application for registration.
Around 75pc of initial applications received have required follow-up from Medical Council staff for clarification or to request additional documentation.
The majority of level one applications from applicants outside Europe take four weeks to process, due to delays which often occur due to incomplete supporting documentation.