Medical student candidate warns of emigration endemic
Dublin West Fianna Fáil candidate and medical student Cllr Jack Chambers says the Government needs to urgently address the issue of newly qualified doctors going abroad to work. Responding to a report launched today (Thursday, October 15) by the Irish Medical Council which shows that over one-in-five trainee doctors intends to go abroad, Cllr Chambers says the issue is going to get worse unless the Minister for Health takes steps to stop the brain drain.
“Ireland has the highest reliance in the OECD on international doctors and this is because of the problems in the system here,” maintains Cllr Chambers. “It is wrong in so many ways, not least the investment being made by the State in doctors who go overseas, but also we are denuding developing countries of their doctors. It is a joke to do nothing to stop our young doctors leaving but spend vast amounts on recruitment drives abroad for young doctors and nurses.”
The Medical Council’s third Your Training Counts report also indicates that trainee doctors reported lower wellbeing and poor quality of life as reasons for leaving Ireland.
“The HSE has no human resources policies or structures for trainee doctors,” added Cllr Chambers. “It doesn’t even know how many are leaving and admitted to me recently that it has no data on how many Junior Doctors and medical interns are leaving the Irish hospital system for jobs abroad.
“My own research says it is endemic that trainees want to leave and many of my colleagues intend to do so.
“It is not just about pay and hours, it is about the HSE respecting and protecting its workers. Dignity at work, equality and diversity policies apply to patients, and should apply to doctors and nurses too. The culture needs to be urgently tackled by the Minister for Health.
“Every time a doctor leaves, it means hundreds of thousands of euro in education costs down the drain for the taxpayer. The Minister needs to encourage young doctors to stay or the crisis will keep drifting on,” he warned.