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Male doctors twice as likely to be subject of a complaint

Male doctors are more than twice as likely to be the subject of a complaint than their female counterparts.

Complaints against men are also more likely to proceed to a Fitness to Practise Inquiry, according to a new report from a health watchdog.

The Medical Council has published its first comprehensive review of complaints it has received.

The Listening to Complaints, Learning for Good Professional Practice report looked at around 2,000 complaints over a five-year period and was published at a seminar in Dublin Castle.

It pinpointed many factors in complaints. While questions about medical knowledge and skill featured, poor experience of doctors' attitudes and behaviour commonly motivated complainants, the report found.


These included issues surrounding communication with patients and relating effectively with patients' families.

Medical Council president Prof Freddie Wood described it as "a really significant rep- ort" both for the council and the wider health system.

"I hope that by reflecting on the findings and looking at the most common causes of complaint, we can work with our partner organisations to reduce such instances," he said.

Among the key findings was that of the 221 complaints that proceeded to an inquiry by the Fitness to Practise Committee from 2008 to 2012, 68pc resulted in findings being made in relation to doctors' practice.