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Medical Council launches 2009 Annual Report and 2010-2013 Statement of Strategy

Press Statement 4th October 2010

Medical Council Launches 2009 Annual Report and Statement of Strategy for Next Three Years

Modernisation of regulation of profession will further enhance patient safety
and public confidence

The Medical Council has today launched its 2009 Annual Report, encompassing last year's key developments, and its 2010-2013 Statement of Strategy, which sets down its objectives for the next three years.

Professor Kieran Murphy, President of the Medical Council, said that last year was "a busy and challenging year for the Medical Council". Four Fitness to Practise Inquiries were held, either totally or partly in public, for the first time. The Seventh Edition of the Guide to Professional Conduct and Ethics for Registered Medical Practitioners was published in November, and last December the Council recommended to the Minister for Health and Children that Part 11 of the Medical Practitioners Act, relating to ProfessionalCompetence, could be commenced.

Launching the Medical Council's Statement of Strategy 2010-2013, Professor Murphy said: "Today is about looking forward to what the Medical Council will be doing over the next three years to further promote patient safety and further enhance the confidence of the public in the medical profession".

Professor Murphy said that "the Medical Practitioners Act 2007 gave the Medical Council the opportunity to modernise how the medical profession is regulated. There are increased expectations from the public and increased accountability sought of doctors. We aim to be a progressive, fit-for-purpose organisation and are continually looking to improve the way in which we work to meet these expectations".

According to Professor Murphy, the Medical Council wishes, in particular, "to communicate in more comprehensive ways with the public, the medical profession and other stakeholders. We strive to be open and transparent in our structures and actions to further enhance the confidence of the public and the profession".

"I believe that the protection of the public is best served by a model whereby the Council works in partnership with the public and the profession. This will be a key component of the Council's strategy for the remainder of its term".

The Statement of Strategy 2010-2013, the first for the Medical Council, outlines how the Council is going to achieve a number of very specific objectives in the period, including:

  • setting and monitoring standards for medical education, training, conduct and ethics. The Council is currently setting in place a scheme for registered medical practitioners to maintain their professional competence as required under Part 11 of the Medical Practitioners Act 2007;
  • taking appropriate action to protect the public where standards are not met by individual practitioners, and
  • engaging proactively with the public and the profession to ensure that the public and the profession are both consulted with and informed of the work of the Council.

The Statement of Strategy was developed following consultation with Medical Council registrants (1,420 completed an online questionnaire), Medical Council members and Medical Council staff. External stakeholders, including the Department of Health and Children, the HSE, the Irish Patients Association, the Forum of Post Graduate Training Bodies, the Council of Deans, the Irish Medical Organisation and the Irish Hospital Consultants Association were also consulted.

The implementation of the Statement of Strategy will be reviewed on a quarterly basis to ensure that all objectives and actions are delivered. Professor Murphy said: "This is an ambitious plan which will allow the Medical Council to achieve its objective of further enhancing patient safety and public confidence through excellent doctors upholding the highest standards".

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Copies of the Medical Council's 2009 Annual Report and the Statement of Strategy 2010-2013 are available on request or can be downloaded below

For further information contact:
Ciara McMorrow, Corporate Services
Telephone: +353 1 4983153
Email: cmcmorrow@mcirl.ie


Note to editors

Key achievements in 2009:

  • The Medical Practitioners Act (2007) introduced public inquiries for the first time and 2009 saw four hearings held either totally or partly in public.
  • In March, all previously registered doctors were transferred to one of four divisions of the new register - Trainee Specialist, Specialist, General and Visiting EEA Practitioners.
  • The Seventh Edition of the Guide to Professional Conduct and Ethics for Registered Medical Practitioners was published in November
  • New offices at Kingram House were officially opened by the Minister for Health and Children in November.
  • In December, the Council recommended to the Minister for Health and Children that Part 11 of the Medical Practitioners Act, relating to Professional Competence, could be commenced.

The 2010-2013 Statement of Strategy sets the following key objectives for the Medical Council:

  • Set and monitor standards for medical education, training, conduct and ethics
  • Facilitate doctors in attaining and maintaining their Registration
  • Set and monitor standards for maintenance of professional competence
  • Take appropriate action to protect the public where standards are not met by individual practitioners
  • Engage proactively with the public, the profession and other stakeholders
  • Enable effectiveness through appropriate internal systems and processes