Medical Council News


The Ombudsman and the Medical Council

The Irish Medical Council is now a reviewable body under Ombudsman amendment act in respect of registration functions. Under the Ombudsman (Amendment) Act 2012, additional agencies now coming under the Ombudsman's remit include all publicly funded third level education institutions, including the Universities, Vocational Education Committees, FÁS, the Legal Aid Board, the National Treatment Purchase Fund, the State Examinations Commission, the Student Grant Appeals Board, the National Transport Authority, the Family Support Agency, Sustainable Energy Ireland, and a range of other public agencies. These agencies came under Ombudsman oversight on 1st May 2013. The Ombudsman has been empowered to examine complaints in relation to the administrative actions of the additional agencies which occur on or after this date.

The Medical Council takes numerous steps in administering its functions including:

  • Taking reasonable decisions, based on all relevant considerations
  • Avoiding undue delay
  • Informing customers what they can expect and what the public body expects of them
  • Being open and clear about policies and procedures and ensuring that information, and any advice provided is clear, accurate and complete
  • Keeping proper and appropriate records
  • Dealing with people and issues objectively and consistently
  • Ensuring that rules are applied equitably
  • Acknowledging mistakes and apologising where appropriate
  • Identifying systemic problems and correcting them

What this means for the Medical Council?

In the event of a complaint, the Ombudsman assesses the details of the complaint under six rules

  1. Get it right
  2. Be customer oriented
  3. Be open and accountable
  4. Act fairly and proportionately
  5. Deal with errors effectively
  6. Seek continuous improvement

In light of the Medical Council coming under the remit of the Ombudsman’s office for complaints issues, our letters now signpost the Ombudsman office, information has been added to the website, and we are conscious about embedding the “Six Rules” into our practices.