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Overseas medics call for internship recognition

Currently, the legislation denies many non-EU doctors access to basic and higher specialist training posts irrespective of their Irish postgraduate qualifications and work experience.

The call came as the organisation held its annual conference in Dublin over the weekend.

“Patient safety can be compromised if the doctor shortage in regional and major teaching hospitals continues,” said an OMI spokesperson. “No health system can run efficiently without an uninterrupted supply of competent and efficient doctors.”

The organisation wishes to see a situation where the Medical Council can consider internship equivalence on a case-by-case rather than jurisdictional basis until the legislation is amended.

In addition, it is advocating for changes to visa rules for non-EU dependents including parents of overseas doctors working in Ireland, “so that the dependent family member(s) can stay in Ireland for the maximum duration of six months continuously instead of the current maximum of three months”.

According to OMI, most overseas doctors are “financially strong enough to bear the expenses of their dependents for this extra three months and will never be a burden to the Irish economy or health services”.

The organisation has also called for abolition of work permits for doctors of non-EU origin.

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