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The President's 2015 Review

There have been some major developments during the year to which the Council and staff have had to adapt, learn from and engage.

In Corbally v the Medical Council, the Supreme Court ruled, that in order for there to be a finding of Poor Professional Performance in relation to any error on the part of a doctor, a threshold of seriousness applies. The Council held discussions on the implications of such judgments and introduced processes in accordance with the Supreme Court ruling.

We have engaged extensively with the Department of Health to discuss the implications of the judgment, as well as discussing legislative changes and policy reform.  We are eager to see a suite of amendments to the Act, to improve our processes, across all areas of our work and to see draft legislation at an early juncture.

Throughout the year, we have published several reports covering a range of the Medical Council’s functions. Reports included are Listening to Complaints, Your Training Counts and Medical Workforce Intelligence Report.

The Medical Council reports have garnered significant interest and highlight the issues and challenges faced by the Medical Profession. We have been actively engaging with our stakeholders to discuss these issues and implement processes improvements.

For example, the Council have recently amended their practise on the issue of Certificates to registrants. Previous practise was to decline to issue a ‘Certificate of Good Standing’ as previously titled, to a doctor who had a complaint under investigation.

However, the Council have now departed from this practise, and will now issue Certificates of Current Professional Status to any requesting registrant, the Certificate simply reflecting the actual current status of the registrant.

These certificates are essential to doctors looking to move abroad and this amendment balances public safety interests, so that other regulators are aware of complaints under investigation, without barring a doctor outright from the having the ability to work abroad.  

As we embark on our business and financial planning for 2016, I would like to reiterate our commitment to examining the fee model to alleviate the financial burden it poses, particularly on those new to practice.  We are conscious that the initial outlay poses a challenge to younger doctors and want to make the process as fair as possible, while balancing the need to execute a wide range of functions in the interests of the public and profession.

As the year draws to a close, I would particularly like to take this opportunity to commend the Council and staff who have shown great commitment and flexibility in the past year, working diligently to ensure that Council’s business and objectives are completed. 

  • View our 2015 developments here