The HSE has been forced to admit to Fianna Fail that it has no idea how many Junior Doctors and medical interns are leaving the Irish hospital system for jobs abroad.

In reply to questions from Dublin West Councillor Jack Chambers, the HSE has admitted that it does not track the movement of its qualified medical staff between hospitals. This is despite growing concerns of a mass exodus of newly qualified doctors who are choosing to leave the Irish health system for jobs abroad.

“There is strong evidence that junior doctors are leaving Irish hospitals in their droves to take up jobs abroad. Many are citing the chaos in Irish hospitals and unreasonable pressure placed on NCHDs as a reason to look elsewhere for work,” said Cllr Chambers.

“These are people in whom the State has invested heavily in terms of training. It is a sorry state of affairs that we are losing that investment because they don’t feel the opportunities are there for them at home.

“The fact that the HSE does not have any system to track the movement of these doctors is very worrying. It should be a very basic requirement of State service operators that they keep track of frontline staff and can ascertain if there’s an exodus of staff from the system.

“A close glance at the hospital network will show there is a brain drain of frontline medical staff from Ireland. Any action from the Government and the HSE to address the loss of Irish-trained nurses has been too little too late. I believe we are sleepwalking into a crisis of junior doctor shortages. Failure to take decisive steps to address the issue will have long term consequences for the Irish health system.”