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Six of the 25 members of the Council should be doctors who are elected by their colleagues in the profession under the Medical Practitioners Act 2007.
The elected doctors should include specialists in obstetrics/gynaecology, anaesthesia, public health medicine and pathology or radiology, in addition to a non-consultant practising medicine in a hospital and a doctor not falling within these categories.
A candidate for election needs to be a registered medical practitioner practising medicine in the State and requires the support of not less than 10 other registered medical practitioners to enter.
A spokesperson for the Council told the Medical Independent (MI) that the current term of the Council expires on 31 May next. “Planning for the new term, including the election of the six registered medical practitioners who form part of the membership of the board, is underway. An advertisement providing details of the nomination and election process and timeframes will feature in the national press in January 2018.”
There are some criteria that would deem candidates ineligible to enter the election, including if the doctor has been adjudged bankrupt and has made a composition or arrangement with creditors.
According to the relevant statutory instrument, the poll shall take the form of an electronic ballot. Every person on the register of medical practitioners at a date specified by the returning officer is entitled to vote in the election of Council members.
In addition to the six elected members, the Medical Council comprises of a further 19 nominated members under various categories, including five nominees of the Minister for Health.
Successful appointees as Council members will serve a five-year term of office and will be expected to attend eight scheduled and around four extraordinary Council meetings per year, totalling approximately 14 meeting days per year. Additionally, Council members will be nominated to serve on a range of Council structures.