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Sunday 26 January 2020

'There's not enough incentive to retain our doctors'

Dr Paddy Hillery
Dr Paddy Hillery
Eilish O'Regan

Eilish O'Regan

The grandson of the late President Dr Patrick Hillery has warned of the pressures driving so many Irish-educated doctors abroad.

Dr Paddy Hillery, who is training to be an emergency consultant, said the health system was not set up to retain our doctors.

"Training has improved in Ireland but it would still not hold up to other international training schemes," he said.

This is due to the length of time it takes, as well as the volume of patients a trainee sees.

"If you look at the Australia system, the trainees would see fewer patients and would see them more in conjunction with consultants.

"In Ireland, doctors see a wide range of patients and gain valuable experience but they do not have as much direct trainer time.

"This is partly due to pressures of overcrowding but also because there are not as many consultants in the system are there are internationally."

He said consultants were very keen to train but don't have enough time to devote to it.

"We are losing trainees to Australia and Canada where they have higher ratios of consultants to trainees."

They also are offered higher salaries and rest time.

"We don't have good financial support for international training courses we have to undertake. We are expected to go on courses to bring back skills to improve the Irish system."

There could be between 40 or 60 patients in an emergency department but just three doctors to deliver the care, he said.

Irish Independent

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