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36 doctor presentations to PHMP

Of the 36 doctors who presented, the majority were NCHDs (21), with nine hospital consultants and six GPs.

According to the report, the majority of practitioner patients presenting to the PHMP in 2017 were women (56 per cent), and the largest number of presentations across both sexes were among those aged between 25-to-34 years old.

Most patients (58 per cent) presented with a mental health problem, 29 per cent with a substance misuse problem and 13 per cent with a dual diagnosis.

The PHMP was launched in September 2015 as a confidential service that provides medical care for practitioners in Ireland who may be going through stress, mental health difficulties or have drug or alcohol misuse problems. Since its inception, 95 practitioner patients have been seen by the service.

Writing in the Annual Report 2017, PHMP Medical Director Dr Íde Delargy praised the “positive outcomes” from the service but noted “we are, however, aware that there may be a significant cohort of practitioners who are experiencing difficulties and who have yet to seek advice and support”.

In terms of outcomes, over three-quarters (39) of those who registered with the programme last year continued working or have returned to work “with the support provided by PHMP”.

“Nine patients are not deemed suitable to work and continue to be monitored with drug and alcohol testing as well as additional supports, such as individual therapy.”

The PHMP’s website address is www.practitionerhealth.ie.

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