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Dr Rita Doyle, the President of the Medical Council, has written to every doctor in the country to acknowledge the “bravery and dedication demonstrated by the medical profession” in a year where the health service and all those working in it, or supporting it, have been “pushed to their limits”.
As Ireland enters the third wave of the pandemic, Dr Doyle acknowledged the perseverance and commitment of doctors, highlighting the camaraderie among practitioners as doctors returned from abroad and retirement to join their colleagues on the frontline.
Dr Doyle also highlighted that the virus has accelerated medical developments in areas such as telemedicine and the electronic transfer of prescriptions. She praised the dedication of doctors working across all disciplines who have shown innovation while continuing to care for their patients battling other illnesses.
With the rise in cases and announcement of new restrictions today, Dr Doyle reminded doctors that this is a time of year that is filled with hope, stating “despite the hardships of this year, what I have seen has given me cause for great hope for both the future of patient care and of medicine as a profession”.
Dr Doyle finished the letter by quoting Marie Curie, stating ‘Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less’.
The full letter is published below:
Letter to doctors from President of the Medical Council:
Dear colleagues and friends,
Aristotle wrote that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts, and it is this that comes to mind when I reflect on the challenging and tumultuous year that we have endured. The medical profession and indeed our country united to face the Covid-19 virus pandemic.
Doctors across the country have shown tremendous bravery and diligence in the face of the pandemic. I am proud of all that the profession has achieved this year and how we have come together as a workforce and continued to deliver the highest standards of patient care during the most difficult of times.
I know that this Christmas will be difficult for many of you. Some of you may be working in our hospitals tending to patients, some running out of hours services, some of you working in public health closely monitoring the cases, some may be forced to self-isolate due to the ongoing daily risks posed to healthcare workers and others may be unable to travel home to visit family and loved ones.
In truth, there is a myriad of reasons as to why this time of year may be difficult for any of us, both personally and professionally – even more so in the current climate. However, this time of year is also filled with hope- and despite the hardships of this year, what I have seen has given me cause for great hope for both the future of patient care and of medicine as a profession.
Although it has brought with it additional challenges, the virus has also sped up medical developments in the use of telemedicine and the electronic transfer of prescriptions. It has shown the camaraderie among practitioners as doctors returned from abroad and retirement to join their colleagues on the front line. It has highlighted the dedication of doctors working across all disciplines who have been innovative and dedicated to continuing to care for their patients battling other illnesses.
While some challenges have been faced, others will continue to pose a threat into the New Year, not just those related to the pandemic but also those which have existed within the health service for a long time. I urge all of you to make time for yourselves over the coming weeks to ensure that you are ready to meet these challenges as they arise. Take some time to do something you enjoy, to rest and to ensure you feel well returning to work.
I have never felt prouder or more honoured to be a member of our profession than I have this past year as we joined together in the face of adversity to support each other and care for our patients. I believe that all that we have experienced this year can only stand to benefit the future of medicine in Ireland.
In the words of Marie Curie ‘Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less’.
On behalf of the Medical Council I wish you all the best for a brighter and happier New Year.
Dr Rita Doyle
Medical Council President