Concerns raised over number of 'non-specialist' consultants in Irish hospitals

Recently released data shows around 3% of consultants are not on the specialist register

Concerns raised over number of 'non-specialist' consultants in Irish hospitals

File photo. Picture by: Andrew Matthews/PA Archive/PA Images

Concern is being expressed over the number of non-specialist consultants in the country's hospitals.

Recently released data shows that there are 73 doctors who are not on the specialist register working in consultant roles around the country.

It represents around 3% of the almost 2,500 consultant roles in Irish hospitals.

Registration requires doctors to have completed higher specialist training, and registration allows them to 'practise independently, without supervision and represent themselves as specialists'.

Fianna Fail's Health Spokesperson Billy Kelleher says in some facilities the number of consultants not on the register is a 'significant proportion' of the total employed.

He suggested the it is primarily an issue of concern in provincial hospitals compared to hospitals in Dublin.

He argued: “All patients should be entitled to expect that when they are treated it should be by fully qualified professional and the HSE and our hospitals have a duty of care to ensure this.

“While the national number of consultant roles being filled by non-specialist doctors is 3%, some hospitals, mainly outside of the capital, have proportionately a lot more than this. “It is of particular concern to Fianna Fáil that hospitals outside of Dublin are dealing with a higher proportion than average."

The Fianna Fáil added: "Minister Harris and the HSE must step up their efforts to ensure that all our hospitals, irrespective of location, have all consultants on the specialist register."