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Medical Council issues guidance on CPD amid Covid-19

The Medical Council has said it understands difficulties may arise for doctors in fulfilling continuous professional development (CPD) requirements as a result of Covid-19.

The regulator stated this morning: “The Medical Council, in its role in supporting doctors, understands the significant workload faced by doctors and the potential travel disruptions, arising due to Covid-19, and appreciates that some doctors may choose not to attend European and International medical education related conferences or have difficulty in recording their CPD.”

If, as a result of this, a doctor will not meet CPD requirements, they are asked to do the following:

  • Advise their professional competence scheme
  • When completing the annual retention application form (ARAF), tick ‘No’ they are not compliant.

By doing both, the doctor’s circumstances will be taken into consideration in the compliance monitoring process. If the doctor’s compliance with the requirements has been consistent in the past, this deviation “should not cause any concern”.

Speaking today, President of the Council, Dr Rita Doyle, acknowledged the growing concerns in regard to Covid-19 in Ireland.

 “The Medical Council is monitoring the situation relating to Covid-19 very carefully, especially in light of our role in protecting patients and supporting doctors.”

“Doctors and healthcare workers are the frontline in the battle to minimise the impact of Covid-19 in Ireland. I want to remind doctors that they have an ethical duty, according to the Guide to Professional Conduct and Ethics, to selfcare in order to protect themselves, their colleagues and their patients.”

“Please ensure that personal protective equipment is worn correctly and that notices are placed at the entrances of clinics and practices informing patients to return home and call their GP or the HSE if they are displaying any symptoms of COVID-19 or respiratory illness”.

“To patients and the wider public, I am asking you to follow the guidance from the HSE and public health doctors. Your first port of call for any concerns should be the HSE website which is updated regularly. Most cases of Covid-19 will be mild and you will be able to care for yourself at home.

“If displaying any symptoms do not attempt to attend your GP, out of hours service or an emergency department. Please call your local GP or contact the HSE website for guidance.

“A community response is needed to slow down the spread of COVID-19 and everyone has a role in that, from individuals following personal hygiene guidance to businesses, shops, bars and restaurants having signage up reminding people to wash their hands and to provide hand sanitizer or sufficient hand washing facilities.”

“I want to acknowledge and praise the leadership shown by the Department of Health and the HSE in response to Covid-19 but I particularly want to thank our public health doctors, other doctors and healthcare workers on the front line around the country,” concluded Dr Doyle.

According to the Council, it is working closely with the Department of Health and the HSE on a number of matters and continues to monitor the developing situation.

Members of the wider public are reminded to:

  • Wash your hands properly and often.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve when you cough and sneeze.
  • Put used tissues into a bin and wash your hands.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are not well.
  • Follow the travel advice from the Department of Foreign Affairs.
  • Visit www.hse.ie for latest guidance and advice.

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