Consultants and badges


Sir, – Further to “Call for consultants who are ‘acting up’ to wear special ID” (News, February 13th), whether qualified or unqualified, it would be helpful if all hospital staff, particularly consultants, wore a badge with their name. In the stress of a hospital visit or procedure, fewer than 30 per cent of patients can remember who they are dealing with after the initial introduction. – Yours, etc,



Co Dublin.

Sir, – Recent correspondence on the employment of consultants in the Irish medical system who are not registered locally as specialists misses much of the complexity of the matter. Many such individuals are employed in the first instance as temporary replacements, eg for doctors who are unwell, or on leave. This is often a short contract, allowing insufficient time for their credentials to be fully evaluated by the relevant bodies.

The doctor may be excellent, and indeed such people are often registered as specialists in better healthcare systems than ours. They don’t necessarily need any further training, therefore. And they are largely here to address a pressing clinical need, rather than to work as administrators.

A potentially bigger matter is the recognition given to all EU specialists by the medical council here.

Legislation allows free movement of doctors between EU states, including automatic access to full registration as medical specialists.

There is, however, enormous variation within the EU around what is required to obtain that registration in the first place. And language competency is not assessed.

Thus, inclusion on the specialist register is no guarantee of the highest levels of training, nor does the lack of registration indicate a deficiency thereof. – Yours, etc,



Co Cork.

Sir, – A neat L-plate on one’s back? – Yours, etc,



Dublin 9.