Information for Patients
The Medical Council regulates doctors to practise medicine in the Republic of Ireland. Our statutory role, as outlined in the Medical Practitioners Act 2007, is to protect the public by promoting and better ensuring high standards of professional conduct and professional education, training and competence among registered medical practitioners.
The Medical Council is committed to patient safety and protection and we are a signatory to the Patient Safety First Initiative. The Minister for Health and Children first launched this initiative in September 2010 to ‘Provide a common identity under which organisations can commit to prioritising above all other priorities, the safety of patients and the quality of care they receive’.
Read more below for information on:
- Your rights as a patient
- Your doctor's responsibilities
- What you should expect from your doctor and
- How to make a complaint against a doctor
Your rights as a patient and your doctor's responsibilities
The Medical Council provides appropriate guidance to doctors on all matters relating to professional conduct and ethics. The Councils current Guide to Professional Conduct and Ethics for Registered Medical Practitioners (Ethical Guide) was published in November 2009. In addition to offering guidance to doctors, members of the public are also encouraged to read the Guide to fully understand the standards expected of doctors. This Guide provides guidance on a number of areas including;
- Physical and intimate examinations
- End of life care
- Refusal of treatment
- Doctor/Patient confidentiality
- Consent to treatment
The Medical Council has developed a short but informative videocast providing a section by section overview of the Ethical Guide.
What should I expect from my doctor?
o If a doctor wishes to practise medicine in this country, he or she must be registered with the Medical Council. To check if your doctor is registered, please click here.
o Each registered doctor has an individual Medical Council Registration Number (MCRN) and is required to display this number on all prescriptions, reports and other clinical documents.
o Registered medical practitioners receive an annual Registration Certificate from the Medical Council. This certificate, which should be displayed in their place of practice, outlines a doctors name, qualification, Medical Council Registration Number and indicates whether they have any conditions attached to their registration.
o A doctor practicing as a specialist must have Specialist Registration with the Medical Council. You can check if your doctor has Specialist Registration by using the Search for a Doctor facility. For a list of specialties recognised by the Medical Council please click here.
o Doctors are required to adhere to the Eight Domains of Good Professional Practice as devised by the Medical Council to ensure patient safety and high quality of patient care.
o From May 2011, all registered doctors are required to maintain their professional competence – enrolling in a professional competence scheme, engaging in continuous professional development and committing to lifelong learning.
I want to make a complaint about my doctor
If you are not satisfied with the treatment you have received from your doctor, or if you have concerns about the behaviour, conduct, practice or health of a doctor, you can contact the Medical Council. Anyone can make a complaint about a doctor, including members of the public, employers and other healthcare staff.
The Medical Council’s Preliminary Proceedings Committee (PPC) looks into complaints that are made about a doctor on a number of grounds including;
- Professional Misconduct
- Poor professional performance
- Relevant medical disability
If you wish to make a complaint about a doctor please contact the Professional Standards Section at:
Professional Standards, Medical Council, Kingram House, Kingram Place, Dublin 2.
Tel: +353 1 4983112
Fax: +353 1 4983103
You will need to include the following information:
- Your full name and address
- As much information about the doctor as you can give, such as their name, place of work and specialty, e.g. GP/ radiologist
- The doctor’s Medical Council Registration Number if possible. You can find this number online in our Search for a Doctor facility
- As much information about the incident as you can give, including names, dates and places.
The Medical Council has developed a useful information booklet on how to make a complaint about a doctor. To download this booklet please click here.
Further information about doctors' professional standards can be found here.