Eight out of 10 trainee doctors thinking of leaving Ireland to work

RCSI’s Ruairí Brugha says doctors will leave as long as they are being undervalued

Prof Ruairí Brugha, who led the survey, said the chronic haemorrhage of doctors from Ireland would continue as long as they were undervalued.  File photograph: Lynne Cameron/PA Wire

Prof Ruairí Brugha, who led the survey, said the chronic haemorrhage of doctors from Ireland would continue as long as they were undervalued. File photograph: Lynne Cameron/PA Wire

 

Eight out of 10 trainee doctors are considering leaving Ireland because of poor working conditions, training opportunities and work-life balance, a survey has revealed.

The Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI) found almost one-fifth of the 523 doctors who responded to the survey had already emigrated between 2014 and 2016.

Twenty-two per cent of those still in Ireland said they would definitely, or probably, leave, a similar number were undecided and 18 per cent said they were definitely staying.

Seventy-two per cent of doctors who were undertaking or had recently completed postgraduate training in Ireland believed they needed to spend time training abroad to compete for consultant posts in Ireland.

However, more than 80 per cent also believed working conditions and training opportunities were better abroad.

RCSI head of epidemiology and public health medicine Prof Ruairí Brugha, who led the survey, said the chronic haemorrhage of doctors from Ireland would continue as long as they were undervalued.

“Unless sufficient resources are invested in providing specialist training for doctors after they have graduated from medical school, employing them in adequately staffed hospitals with comparable training and working conditions to what are on offer in other countries, we will continue to lose those who are the life blood of our health system,’’ he said.