There are 156 doctors working in the Irish health service as part of the International Medical Graduate Training Initiative (IMGTI), according to figures provided by the HSE to the Medical Independent. This figure represents a small increase on 2019/2020 when the number was 153.
In 2020/2021 some 60 doctors commenced the scholarship programme, which is a small increase on 2019/2020 (57) and 2018/2019 (48). These international trainees are from Sudan and Pakistan. In 2020/2021 there were also 17 “fully sponsored” doctors commencing on the scheme, compared to 28 in 2019/2020. These doctors are from the Middle East “eg, Saudi Arabia and Oman”, according to the HSE.
Asked for a breakdown of the hospitals and Hospital Groups where the international trainees have been appointed, the HSE’s spokesperson said the “doctors are based in a variety of hospitals throughout Ireland”.
The IMGTI “provides one possible route for overseas doctors wishing to undergo structured postgraduate medical training within the public health service in Ireland”, according to the HSE website. The purpose of the training initiative is to enable overseas trainees to “gain access to clinical experiences and training that they cannot get in their own country, with a view to enhancing and improving the individual’s medical training and learning and in the medium- to long-term, the health services in their own countries”.
Separately, in September the IMO announced it had convened an international doctors’ group aligned to its NCHD committee. The first meeting of the working group took place amid increasing mobilisation of international doctors who are frustrated about lack of access to training posts, among other issues.