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Emigration of doctors remains a challenge- RCSI study

The research also round that foreign trained doctors experience slower career progression than doctors trained in Ireland.

This is according to two papers from RCSI and Trinity College Dublin, which were published today in BMC Human Resources for Health.

“There is a consistent pattern of findings from these studies. The same problems in how we manage our medical workforce, whether it is the doctors we train or those we recruit from overseas, are leading to large numbers leaving for more attractive jobs and increasingly to make their long-term careers abroad,” said Professor Ruairí Brugha of the RCSI.

“The UK, Australia, Canada, US and New Zealand are the most popular destination countries.

“Two years ago, the Department of Health published the Strategic Review of Medical Training and Career Structures. This includes 25 recommendations which, if implemented, will address many of these doctors’ concerns, especially if we can tackle the under-staffing of our hospitals.”

The study surveyed 366 foreign doctors registered to practice medicine in Ireland, funded by the Health Research Board and enabled by the Medical Council.

The authors say the studies show that international recruitment is not an effective long-term strategy for addressing shortages of doctors, with only around one third of foreign doctors planning to remain in Ireland.

In a third paper published today, the RCSI health workforce research group, in collaboration with a senior researcher from Dublin City University, reports that the longer the time that Irish-trained doctors spend abroad, the less likely they are to return to Ireland.

A survey of 388 Irish trained health professionals working abroad – 307 doctors and 81 nurses/midwives, most of whom had left Ireland between 2008 and 2014, showed that the proportion of doctors who planned to remain abroad permanently had risen from 10 per cent at the time they left Ireland to 34 per cent at the time of the 2014 survey.

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