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Council report highlights need for ‘renewed focus’ on workforce planning

Over 400 doctors were restored to the Medical Council’s medical register to help through the pandemic as part of the ‘Be on Call for Ireland’ campaign according to the Medical Council annual report for 2020.

The report also finds that 24,720 doctors are on the medical register up from 23,555 in 2019, an increase of over 1,160 doctors. Some 56 per cent of registered doctors were male while 44 per cent were female and 35.5 per cent were aged 35 or under. 279 complaints were received in 2020, a fall from the 431 in 2019.

Medical Council CEO, Leo Kearns said the report highlighted the need for a renewed focus on workforce planning across the medical workforce.

“The report highlights a number of issues of concern for the Medical Council such as doctor burnout, bullying issues and doctors working in excess of the European Working Time Directive,” he said. “In the interest of enabling and enhancing the delivery of high quality and safe care to patients, a concerted and collaborative effort is required by all stakeholders in identifying effective solutions for tackling issues such as workforce retention and doctor wellbeing,” said Mr Kearns.

Medical Council President, Dr Suzanne Crowe said “2020 was a year none of us will ever forget. As a doctor I am extremely proud and honoured to work alongside front-line workers across the health service during the greatest challenge we have ever faced”.

“The Medical Council restored 420 doctors to the medical register in 2020, doctors returning home from abroad, coming out of retirement or returning to medical practice. To see these doctors return to practise gave the nation a huge boost during the darkest days of the early pandemic.”

“As we move to the next phase of the pandemic we must look to the future, we must look out for our workforce and address the systemic issues impacting the medical workforce so we can truly protect patients, support our doctors and minimise the risk of adverse events,” said Dr Crowe.

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