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Over 260 doctors on maternity leave received Council refund

By Catherine Reilly - 09th Jul 2023

maternity leave

Some 263 doctors on maternity leave have availed of the Medical Council’s retention fee refund scheme, as of the end of March. The Council, which introduced the scheme in July 2022, is now extending the measure to doctors on adoptive leave, surrogacy leave, and extended sick leave, a spokesperson confirmed.

“One reduction of 50 per cent of the fee applies to a single period of maternity leave, so if a doctor’s maternity leave overlaps two retention periods, the refund will be issued based on the registration year in which you make your application,” said the Council’s spokesperson. “To be eligible for a refund, a doctor must have paid the annual retention fee in full, and complete and submit the maternity leave refund form available on the Medical Council website.”

In the past, doctors on maternity leave either paid the full retention fee or voluntarily withdrew from the register. This change has permitted doctors to stay on the register while on maternity leave, receive a 50 per cent refund on retention fees, and reduce the administrative burden on the doctor if they were to voluntarily withdraw and reapply to the register.

The spokesperson said that “following the success of the scheme”, the Council had extended the six-month refund to doctors on adoptive leave, surrogacy leave, and extended sick leave, which applies from 1 July 2023. “Further details will be available on the Council website in the near future. Doctors must complete their annual retention and have paid their fee in full to avail of the refund.”

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