Medical Council News

News

CEO Message

Welcome to the first edition of our 2018 e-news, and Happy New Year to all. We have a busy year upon us at the Medical Council, including the upcoming Council elections, and we’re all ready to work as hard as we can to assist the transition.

The Medical Council officially launched the multi lingual versions of our Patient Information Booklet at the end of January. The Patient Information Booklet has been in circulation since 2016, but we now have copies available in French, Spanish and Polish, as well as English and Irish editions. It was found in the last census that these were some of the most common languages spoken in Ireland, after English and Irish, so having clear, easy to read information for patients of many nationalities is a great resource. Given Ireland’s ever growing multicultural population, it makes sense to include new members of the community in our work. We were delighted to have Minister David Stanton, Minister for Equality, Immigration and Integration, present to launch the booklets. As he said at the launch, it’s a great initiative and good practice for organisations to implement. All five versions of the booklet, “Working with your doctor: useful information for patients” are available for download from medicalcouncil.ie.

At the event Minister David Stanton, WHO representative and council member Margaret Murphy, and I spoke to the assembly of staff and community representatives. We were privileged that Mexican Ambassador to Ireland, Miguel Malfavon, Deputy Head of Belgium Mission, Bernadette Scheid, French Consul, Pauline Tanchoux-Janin, and Councillor of the Spanish Embassy in Ireland, Carlos Lucino were able to attend. Representatives from other key organisations were also present including Cairde, Immigrant Council or Ireland, and Pavee Point.

The current Council’s term will be ending in May, following a five year term which commenced in 2013. We appreciate their work and commitment, providing guidance as needed. Elections will take place to vote in a new Council to sit alongside nominees from various other stakeholders, including the Ministers for Health and Education, and the post graduate training bodies. The election process will be running between now and March, with results expected before Easter. The current Council’s term will expire at the end of May, with the newly elected members taking their places on June 1st. Further information on the election process and nomination forms are available online now.

Some of you may have seen the opinion piece by Professor Michael Barry in the Sunday Business Post on February 11th last. Prof Barry was of the opinion that doctors receive insufficient training when it comes to prescribing, and they are overly influenced by pharmaceutical companies when writing prescriptions. I put forward a different view in an opinion piece I wrote which was published in the same paper on February 18th. We know that doctors engage in continuous professional development (CPD) in many areas of practice through schemes operated by the postgraduate training bodies, and the Medical Council monitors the standards of these schemes. We’ve also acknowledged that prescribing is a key area that needs more of a focus in CPD, and we’re working in conjunction with the profession, postgraduate training bodies and stakeholders to develop best practice around safe prescribing, and will be increasing emphasis on this area in the near future.

As all practicing doctors know, the annual retention process must be completed prior to end of June. A new consideration that is required when undertaking the retention process is proof of professional indemnity. A new regulation has passed and will be brought in on 25th May as per the Data Protection Bill 2018. This act serves to protect all personal data and will apply to all data stored, including patient’s medical records and details. To ensure all practitioners are aware of these introductions, we have included further information on both provisions later in this newsletter.