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Medical workforce ‘crisis’ needs acknowledgement – Council CEO

By Catherine Reilly - 14th Mar 2022

 The Medical Council CEO has called for greater acknowledgement of the medical “workforce crisis”. 

Mr Leo Kearns, who took up the post in April 2021, told the Medical Independent (MI): “We need to see people within the Department [of Health], at Government level, HSE, clinical sites, training bodies, medical schools, Medical Council, other regulators, saying actually workforce is our fundamental issue – there are lots of other areas as well… but what we would be particularly focused on is the workforce because that is at the heart of safety and patient care so we have to get that right…. 

“And I have to say there is a strong sense emerging that people are beginning to take this very seriously.” 

The Council was “working very closely” on workforce issues with stakeholders, such as the HSE, the Department, and training bodies. In this regard Mr Kearns emphasised the importance of a comprehensive medical workforce strategy. 

“While we can focus on our regulatory role in relation to education and training, professional competence, and providing ethical frameworks, and managing complaints as they arise, it really is very clear to us that some of the more fundamental problems we have in the health service, directly related to patient safety, is our ability to recruit and retain a high calibre workforce, and for them to be working in a system that actually supports and helps them deliver care at the level people would expect,” he informed MI.

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