Fianna Fáil Dublin Rathdown Constituency Representative, Justin McAleese has said that the impact of doctor emigration on the Irish health system and its connection with the trolley and staffing crisis is one that needs urgent attention.
The Local Area Rep was speaking ahead of a public meeting he is hosting on the matter on Wednesday April 25th in The Anvil Room of The Goat Bar & Grill in Goatstown, Dublin 14.
He said, “We’ve heard anecdotal evidence that in 2016, the Australian state of Victoria has appointed six Irish university-trained consultants in emergency medicine.
“This is not a trend that the Irish health system can afford to continue.
“There are a variety of reasons that non-consultant hospital doctors are choosing to take up positions overseas – these include working conditions, training and career progression opportunities as well as working hours and pay.
“When you have consultants like Dr Jim Gray describing his patients being treated in “sub-human conditions” in the A&E at Tallaght Hospital, then it’s reasonable to ask if there are sub-human conditions for patients then what must they like for the medical personnel working in these hospitals every day.
“We have an ageing population and our health care system is only going to get busier in the future – failure to tackle the problem today is going to create an even bigger problem to deal with down the road, warned McAleese.
“Dr. Niamh Humphries, Reader in Health Systems Research with the Royal College of Physicians, Dr. Rhona Mahony, Master of the National Maternity Hospital and Dr. Maitiu O’Tuathail, President of the National Association of GPs will give their insights on the impact of emigration on our health service and what we could do better to ensure our doctors stay in Ireland for the long term.
“Non-consultant hospital doctors on speciality training schemes are actively encouraged to go on fellowships abroad – they are unlikely to obtain consultant jobs without having done so – the problem with that is that if you go away to a much better working environment then you run the risk that our doctors won’t return to Ireland. That risk is already in a significant number of cases a reality.
“We’re hoping to have a productive meeting which focuses on the potential solutions and is not just a talking shop on the problems. If you’re interested in this area then I’d invite you to come along, listen and participate in the discussion with us,” he concluded.