Medical Council News

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Medical Council Concludes its Term of Office and Launches 2012 Annual Report

The Medical Council today (30th May 2013) launched its 2012 Annual Report, in addition to a Term Report, outlining its work over the past five years.  The Medical Council concludes its term of office at the end of May, with a new Council commencing its term in June.   

Reflecting on the Council’s term of office, Professor Kieran Murphy, President of the Medical Council, said: “I believe that the implementation of the Medical Practitioners Act 2007 during this Council’s tenure has resulted in significantly greater protection for patients and has facilitated enhanced professional development at all stages of a doctor’s professional life.  In particular, professional competence requirements have been introduced, making it a legal obligation for all doctors to keep their knowledge and skills up to date throughout their professional lives. 

“The protection of patients and the support of doctors are central themes that have guided this Council over the past five years.  In addition, the presence of a non-medical majority on Council has been a world first in medical regulation which has greatly facilitated and enhanced our ability to ensure that the interests of patients remain the cornerstone underpinning all of our work”. 

Highlights from the annual report include:

  • A continued focus on education and training standards at undergraduate, intern and postgraduate level - An extensive accreditation schedule was undertaken in 2012.  Nine programmes in Ireland now graduate medical students.  To support the delivery of intern training, guidelines on remediation of doctors in the intern year were published.  Nine intern training sites were inspected and approved, bringing the total number of approved intern training sites in the State to 47.  Five postgraduate training bodies, and five associated programmes of specialist training, were evaluated. 
  • There were 18,184 doctors registered with the Medical Council, entitling them to practise medicine in Ireland.  1,263 doctors were registered for the first time for entry to the Register of Medical Practitioners. Of these, 652 applicants were from outside the European Economic Area.
  • The Council’s website received over 450,000 visits, with 40% of traffic from outside of Ireland.
  • Revised procedures for the processing of complaints were introduced, and Medical Council case officers became the first ever graduates of a Certified Investigator Training Programme with the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators.
  • 423 complaints were received in 2012.  The Council’s Preliminary Proceedings Committee, which considers complaints about doctors, made decisions regarding 396 complaints in 2012.  41 Fitness to Practise inquiries were completed during the year.  

Speaking at the launch of the annual report, CEO of the Medical Council, Ms Caroline Spillane said: “As the number of complaints we receive continues to increase, it’s important that our procedures are fair, transparent and robust.  By moving to a model whereby complaints are investigated by case officers specifically trained to deal with sensitive issues, both complainants and doctors benefit from having a designated contact throughout the complaints process.”

ENDS

Speaking notes of President Kieran Murphy.pdf

For Further Information:

Lorna Farren                                                  
Medical Council Communications Manager            
Phone: 01 498 3173/ 087 9130288                    
Email: lfarren@mcirl.ie