Fears of brain drain as places on GP training scheme unfilled

Irish Medical Organisation plans to highlight its campaign for greater resourcing of primary care

Five places on the national scheme for training GPs – three in the northeast and two in the midlands – remain unfilled after three rounds of offers to qualified medical graduates. It is the first time all available places on the scheme have not been filled.

Five places on the national scheme for training GPs – three in the northeast and two in the midlands – remain unfilled after three rounds of offers to qualified medical graduates. It is the first time all available places on the scheme have not been filled.

Fri, Apr 25, 2014, 01:00

Fears of a brain drain of doctors have grown after the national scheme for training GPs failed to fill all available places this year for the first time ever.

In a further sign of doctors’ growing discontent with the health service, five places on the scheme – three in the northeast and two in the midlands – remain unfilled after three rounds of offers to qualified medical graduates.

A significant minority of doctors in training in family medicine are contemplating emigration, research being finalised by the Irish College of General Practitioners (ICGP) is expected to show.


Campaign
The latest developments come as the Irish Medical Organisation plans to highlight its campaign for greater resourcing of primary care when its annual conference opens in Carton House, Co Kildare, today.

The ICGP, which co-ordinates the training of family doctors, is surveying doctors to see why so many are spurning places on regional GP training schemes.

“Fear of uncertainty is what’s coming back to us as the main reason why people are talking of emigrating. It’s not take-home pay, it’s the uncertainty about their professional working environment in the Irish health service, and uncertainty even about having a job when they finish studying,” says Dr Gerry Mansfield, national director of GP training at the ICGP.