Slump forces junior doctors to go abroad

ALERT: Sudan warns Third World trend is happening here

Fiona Dillon

THE recession is causing junior hospital doctors to emigrate in a situation similar to that emerging in some developing countries.

The Sudanese Medical Association UK and Ireland said Irish and foreign doctors were leaving this country.

Speaking ahead of the Associations's first conference to be held in Ireland, its Vice President Dr Mohamed Ahmed said: "We think this topic is not only relevant and important for Sudan or other third world countries, but it is also very important for Ireland."

He said that there is strong evidence to suggest that since the recession and its implications on junior hospital doctors' training funds, there has been a reverse migration from Ireland, which is similar to what happened and continues to happen in third world countries.

Dr Ahmed added: "So, there is a very important lesson for Irish health policy makers to learn from our story."

At present there are more than 450 Sudanese doctors practising in the Irish health services, and the number is rising. In 2000, there were fewer than 80 Sudanese doctors in Ireland.


However, over the past 10 years, increasing numbers of Sudanese doctors have been coming to Ireland for postgraduate training and long-term employment.

They are attracted by Ireland's internationally recognised postgraduate medical training programmes, employment opportunities with a good income, and the large number of Sudanese doctors already working in Ireland.

The conference on June 9 will be addressed by the Republic of Sudan's Federal Minister of Health, along with a number of keynote speakers, according to the Irish Medical Times.

Meanwhile, the Government has said that it is not anticipated that any particular grade will be exempted from the recruitment moratorium in the health service.

Health service employment numbers are to be reduced to approximately 102,000 by the end of this year, in a bid to cut public expenditure.

Deputy Frances Fitzgerald, the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs said priority posts could be put in place where this is possible within the employment ceiling and budget.