Medical Council News


Medical Council Publishes Medical Workforce Report

The Medical Council today (25th July 2013) published a medical workforce report, which provides a detailed overview of doctors’ practice in Ireland.  Registration with the Medical Council is a legal requirement before a doctor can practise medicine and this report collates information about the working arrangements of all registered doctors.

Speaking today, Medical Council CEO, Ms Caroline Spillane said:

“A strong and sustainable medical workforce will better support the health system in meeting the needs and expectations of the public today and in the future.  This report provides valuable information to support policy makers and employers in meeting the evolving needs of Irish patients, and we are engaging with the Department of Health, HSE and organisations involved in training doctors to discuss the issues raised.

“We will be exploring some of the issues emerging from this report in detail at our Annual Education and Training Symposium and allied with this, are currently working with the HSE and Health Research Board to award a new medical education research grant. Since the State makes significant investment in medical education and training, we need to understand how this can best develop future doctors who can continue to meet patient needs and expectations.

“The greater understanding of the changing demographics of doctors practising in Ireland provided by this report will inform our work in areas of registration, education and training.  It’s important that all organisations involved in doctors’ education, training and continuing practice fully consider the findings as we look to shape the medical workforce of the future.” 

The report outlines that:

  • 75% of doctors registered with the Council who had practised medicine in the past 12 months said they had practised in Ireland only; 10.5% practised outside Ireland only; 15.1% practised in Ireland and elsewhere.
  • Approximately 35% of doctors practising in Ireland qualified outside of Ireland.  Doctors who qualified outside of Ireland were more likely to exit the register. 
  • The highest proportion of those withdrawing from the register are above retirement age, followed by doctors aged 25-39.    Exit rates are highest among doctors in the General Division, while the lowest rate is among doctors in the Trainee Specialist Division.
  • Women’s participation in the workforce and representation in the specialist division has increased in recent years.  Among doctors under 35, women are in the majority of Irish graduated doctors in all divisions.  Female doctors were more likely to work part time.  20% of women worked part time, compared with less than 10% of men.
  • Doctors from countries identified by the World Health Organisation as having a critical shortage of health workers comprised 10% of all doctors retaining registration with the Medical Council. 


For further information contact:

Lorna Farren, Medical Council Communications Manager

087 9130288/ 01 4983173