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Commencement of Part 11 of Medical Practitioners Act, 2007

Press Statement – 30th April 2010

Commencement of Part 11 of Medical Practitioners Act, 2007

The Minister for Health & Children, Ms Mary Harney T.D., has signed an order bringing  Part 11 of the Medical Practitioners Act, 2007 – Maintenance of Professional Competence into effect from Saturday  1st May.

This means that all registered medical practitioners in Ireland will be legally obliged to demonstrate that they are maintaining their professional competence from one year later, 1st May 2011.  In practice, this means that every doctor is now required to register with a Professional Competence Scheme and to begin a process of engagement in Professional Competence activities such as continuing professional development (CPD) and clinical audit within the next 12 months.

Maintaining professional competence on a formal basis is now a legal requirement and has many benefits. It ensures that all doctors will maintain their level of knowledge and skills, will benefit from the knowledge and expertise of other health professionals, and will help to ensure that their patients are getting the best possible care.

Professor Kieran Murphy, President of the Medical Council, advised that doctors on the general or specialist divisions of the register must, by 1 May 2011, be registered with a Professional Competence Scheme. “This is an important day for both the medical profession and the general public. While the majority of doctors have maintained their professional competence on a voluntary basis for many years, this process is now formalised into a legal requirement. The additional quality assurance that this process brings to the patient-doctor relationship is a further protection to ensure the safety of patients”.

In introducing its Professional Competence Schemes, the Medical Council has made every effort to ensure that the new demands being placed on doctors, on employers, on the Postgraduate Training Bodies and on the Irish healthcare system are both realistic and likely to enhance the delivery of clinical care.  The Schemes will be closely monitored and if necessary, will be modified in the light of experience. 

The professional competence schemes will be administered by the Postgraduate Training Bodies.  Doctors are requested to contact the  Training Body which they believe is most relevant to their area of clinical practice to begin the process of applying to a professional competence scheme.  They need not necessarily be a member of a Training Body to participate in its Professional Competence Scheme. 

Further information on Professional Competence Schemes can be obtained from the Medical Council website (www.medicalcouncil.ie) or from the Postgraduate Training Bodies.   

Ends/

Issued by the Medical Council
Paul Lyons, Corporate Services
Ph:         +353 1 4983153
Email     plyons@mcirl.ie