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Under the Medical Practitioners Act 2007, members can be appointed for a term not exceeding five years. It is at the Council’s discretion to facilitate appointments for shorter durations.
The Medical Council has positively considered an internal proposal for staggered terms and found that it would be in line with best practice as stated in the Code of Practice for the Governance of State Bodies, 2016.
According to the Medical Council, there are “distinct advantages” in having a rolling membership, including the fact that the Council and committees would be “better placed” to deliver its objectives and statutory functions efficiently and consistently, without loss of experience, skill and corporate knowledge, or any downturn in activity associated with a change of Council members en masse every five years.
The Council consists of 25 members including both elected and appointed members. In addition to the Council itself, there are a number of committees, sub-committees and working groups which report to the Council.
The staggered terms will not apply to the six Council members elected by the medical profession, it was confirmed to the Medical Independent.
The recommendation for staggered terms was included in a governance review commissioned by the Council.
The review by Mazars, titled Medical Council Review of Governance Framework Final Report April 2018, made 12 findings and recommendations, including that the incoming Council “review the listing of reputational risks recorded on the risk register”.
The Council said it was unable to provide details of the cost of the governance review. This was because the review was conducted recently and “the information may be commercially sensitive”, according to a spokesperson.