Contrary to belief in some quarters that well-paid doctors have been better insulated than the rest of the Irish population from the effects of the financial crisis, numbers of clinicians attending the Medical Council’s Health Committee has increased year on year since 2010, largely owing to the recession.
The Minister for Health published the Medical Practitioners (Amendment) Bill 2014 on August 1, which ensures medical practitioners have adequate indemnity insurance, a requirement to be enforced by the Medical Council.
There were 18,160 doctors, 41 per cent of them female, registered during 2013 with the Medical Council entitling them to practise medicine in Ireland — giving a ratio of three doctors to every 1,000 people in the country, according to the regulatory body’s annual report 2013.
Preliminary data from the Medical Council’s forthcoming second ‘Medical Workforce Intelligence Report’ to be published this month shows that 10 per cent of doctors aged 25-29 years chose to leave the medical register in 2013.
The Medical Council has underscored that it has continued to receive and deal with complaints ahead of a priority Supreme Court hearing, which will settle the intended definition of the term “poor professional performance” under the Medical Practitioners Act 2007.
The Medical Council is introducing electronically issued annual retention certificates that will replace the traditional hard-copy certs issued to date, Irish Medical Times has learned.
The Medical Council has stressed that one of its strategic objectives is to “influence enhanced procedures” to progress complaints throughout the health system.
The Medical Council has recognised three new specialties, paving the way for enhanced education and training opportunities for doctors in the areas of intensive care medicine, neonatology and pain medicine in Ireland.
The Medical Council is set to commence conducting inspections of clinical sites used in the training of doctors by the end of the year, Irish Medical Times reports.
The Medical Council will await the outcome of a priority Supreme Court hearing into an appeal, which could be heard from as early as mid-month, in opposition to a High Court ruling that overturned the Council’s fitness to practise (FTP) finding against consultant paediatric surgeon Prof Martin Corbally