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In 2018 there were 2,190 doctors who registered with the Medical Council for the first time. This represents the lowest number of entrants since 2015.
That is according to the Medical Workforce Intelligence Report for 2018, produced by the Medical Council and launched today.
According to the Report, most new entrants to the register were on the general division of the register and educated outside of Ireland.
Doctors from outside the EU cumulatively accounted for more new entrants to the Irish register of medical practitioners than Ireland did.
There were significant increases in voluntary withdrawals from the register in 2018, which at 1,453 represented an increase of 37.9 per cent on the previous year. “Ireland’s education and training of doctors is internationally recognised, however, recruiting and retaining our pool of highly qualified Irish-trained doctors continues to prove challenging,” said Dr Rita Doyle, President of the Medical Council.
“There is a continued overreliance on foreign-trained doctors. Our reliance on overseas-trained doctors is escalating, evidenced by the continued increase in the general division. The practical and cultural challenges within the Irish health system need to be addressed, in tandem with an increase of appropriate health practitioner supply. Otherwise, retention will remain a growing issue.
“It is essential that we commence to tackle these issues and that any change to the education system needs to be conducted in a holistic manner with co-ordinated workforce planning to determine the requirements and place doctors in the right location with the appropriate qualification,” concluded Dr Doyle.