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Increased workload if public/private mix changes, warns Council

The Council raised the issue in its submission to the Independent Review Group examining private practice in public hospitals.

In the submission, the Council said that any change in the public/private mix for the delivery of healthcare “will disrupt existing arrangements” but that it did “not see that it will change our standards”.

A number of the observations made in the submission focus on the possible impact on the Council’s workload that any changes to the existing public/private mix would have.

“If specialist training increases in private hospitals, it would mean that the MCI [Medical Council Ireland] would have more hospitals to inspect. This would have a significant impact on resources,” reads the submission.

“Increased demand for doctors with specialist qualifications to fill consultant posts would result in a workload impact on the MCI registration process.”

In the submission by CEO Mr Bill Prasifka, the Council also raises the “potential to impact on the supply and demand of doctors with general and specialist registration”.

Mr Prasifka also highlights “potentially an impact on training; reducing opportunities available to trainees in public hospitals, particularly in surgery. At present, private hospitals deal mainly with elective, non-acute surgical procedures”.

The Council further notes that there may be an impact on the professional indemnity (PI) arrangements for doctors working in both the public and private sector.

The Sláintecare Report recommended the separation of private practice from public hospitals. In light of this recommendation, Minister for Health Simon Harris established the Independent Review Group to examine the issue.

The group is due to issue its report this month.

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