Michael Staines
Michael Staines

10.40 26 Mar 2020


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Some 121 doctors have re-joined the Register of Medical Practitioners in little over a week.

It comes after more than 60,000 people registered for the ‘On Call for Ireland’ COVID-19 recruitment drive.

The drive is mainly focused on recruiting people who have healthcare training but are not currently working in the system in Ireland.

Meanwhile the Medical Council launched a dedicated pathway to help doctors re-join the register for free.

In a statement this morning, it said 55% of the doctors that have re-joined the register are returning to Ireland from overseas, while the rest are doctors coming out of retirement in response to the outbreak.

It noted that there are also many doctors returning to the country who were never taken off the register.

Medical Council President Dr Rita Doyle said: “I am heartened to see the huge response we are seeing from colleagues who are coming out of retirement, returning to medical practice or returning home to Ireland in response to […] the challenges our country faces with the COVID-19 pandemic.”

“The Irish health system and its staff will come under unprecedented pressure during this time, and it is and will be a very challenging time for medical practitioners.

“These doctors are stepping forward to answer Irelands call to help our country at our time of need and to support our colleagues already on the front lines in this battle.”

She said there are many roles available for returning doctors including acute care, out-hours-services and over-the-phone triage.

Medical Council CEO Bill Prasifka said officials will also be registering over 1,000 newly-qualified doctors to the Intern Division of the register in the coming weeks.

The council is warning all doctors that it is essential they continue to take breaks, eat regularly and get enough rest as they battle the outbreak.


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