Three doctors removed from the Medical Register in 2017

An annual report shows the majority of complaints related to communication

Three doctors removed from the Medical Register in 2017

Image: Medical Council

Three doctors were removed from Medical Register last year.

That is according to the Medical Council's annual report - which found almost 20% of complaints made in 2017 were about communication.

These complaints can vary from a misunderstanding, a miscommunication, not explaining a diagnosis or treatment plan in an understandable or clear manner, a disagreement or simply a personality clash.

The report showed 356 complaints were received about doctors.

Some 22,649 doctors were on the register - that is up 4% on 2016. While 35% of registered doctors are 35 years or younger.

While for the first time, the number of registered specialist medical practitioners surpassed that of general practitioners.

In 2017, 13 cases were referred for performance assessment and covered a range of medical specialties.

The performance assessment can incorporate a number of activities - such as record review, case-based assessment, direct observation of the doctor, peer and patient feedback.

Source: Medical Council

The procedures seek to support a doctor in identifying areas for development in their day-to-day practice, while also helping to reassure the public of doctors keeping their knowledge and skills up to date.

The Medical Council also conducted re-accreditation visits to two medical schools last year to assess three undergraduate medical education and training programmes.

These were the Direct Entry Programme at National University of Ireland, Galway (NUIG); and both the Direct Entry and Graduate Entry Programmes at University College Cork.

Medical Council CEO, Bill Prasifka, said: "2017 has been another busy year for the Medical Council in fulfilling our duel remit of protecting patients and supporting doctors.

"We have seen a significant body of work carried out by the council across all our functions including the maintenance of the Register of Medical Practitioners, monitoring the standards of undergraduate and specialist education and ensuring compliance with the maintenance of professional competence.

"We have also had a busy year in the regulation of the professional standards of Medical Practitioners and although complaints were slightly down in 2017 on the previous year some areas of concern have emerged."