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Council examining fee reduction for doctors on long-term leave

By Catherine Reilly - 12th Sep 2022

long-term leave

The Medical Council is examining potential reductions in retention fees for doctors on long-term sick leave and others who step back from medicine for various reasons, according to President Dr Suzanne Crowe. 

In July, the Medical Council announced that doctors on maternity leave would be entitled to a refund of 50 per cent of their annual retention fee. The Council indicated this would be the first of several changes to its registration fee structures, but it has not yet confirmed any further details. 

Speaking to the Medical Independent at the recent launch of the Medical Workforce Intelligence Report 2021, Dr Crowe commented: “It is very much our intention to look at other sections of the profession who have needed to take time away from employment for whatever reason and reduce their fees.” 

She cited doctors on long-term sick leave and those with caring responsibilities as examples in this regard. 

Dr Crowe also referred to discussions in the Council about “trying to put in place supports for people who want to train in a more flexible manner”, such as ensuring assessments of competencies over a longer period. She emphasised that doctors must not be lost to the system due to inflexible training arrangements and that patients wanted a medical workforce that reflected society. 

Meanwhile, the Council has no current plans to reduce or increase general annual retention fees. 

The annual fee for doctors with more than three years’ retention on the register is currently €605. 

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