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Report on professional competency by end of year

Medical Council CEO Mr Bill Prasifka told IHCA delegates that the report is expected to be out by the end of the year.

“Before the end of the year, we should be publishing a comprehensive report in this area,” he told delegates.

“In publishing the report, we do not want [only] to identify the problem, but to identity what the appropriate response should be.”

Mr Prasifka highlighted research that the Council had done in this area, which showed that NCHDs and younger doctors were among those most likely not to keep up with professional competency courses. He also said doctors on the general registration division were more likely than those on the specialist register to fall behind in this areas as well.

Mr Prasifka defended the Council from criticism from some IHCA members over the media’s reporting on doctors involved in Medical Council hearings. The Council CEO pointed out that the area is covered by legislation and the fitness to practise hearings are conducted in public.

However, Prof Brendan Kelly, Professor of Psychiatry in Trinity College Dublin, who shared a panel discussion with Mr Prasifka, said he believed that the legislation should be changed to prevent a doctor’s reputation being tarnished during a hearing, before a decision is made on their innocence or guilt. 

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