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Annual Report and Financial Statements 2013

This report highlights some of the key work completed during 2013, marking the final year of the implementation of the Council’s 2010-2013 strategy. Developments during the year include:

  • The 2008 – 2013 Medical Council concluded its term in May 2013 and a new Council commenced its term in June.
  • The first Medical Workforce Intelligence Report was published, providing detailed statistical information on the work-force in Ireland.
  • Memorandums of understanding were signed with the HSE & HIQA.
  • Registration rules for entry to the Supervised Division were reviewed & revised, strengthening arrangements for supervised practice in the HSE.

32%

of doctors registered are between the age of 20 & 35

39

Fitness to Practise inquiries were completed in 2013

 

45

doctors supported by the Health Committee

1,575

new doctors were registered in 2013

41%

of doctors on the register are female

3

doctors to every 1,000 people in Ireland

More Information

Strategic Objective 1: Set and monitor standards for medical education, training, conduct and ethics
  • By the end of 2013, 12 of the 13 postgraduate medical training bodies had been formally assessed and approved
  • A total of 123 doctors from outside the EU passed the Council’s clinical pre-registration examinations
  • A second Education and Training Symposium was hosted to facilitate discussion on the development of tomorrow’s doctors.
  • A Progress Report on Medical Education, Training, and Practice in Ireland was published, outlining key findings from the past five years of the Council's quality assurance activity in this area.
  • Postgraduate Training Bodies delivering specialist training in Ireland were accredited by the Medical Council for the first time.

Strategic Objective 2: Support doctors in attaining and maintaining their registration
  • Doctors in the specialist division accounted for 41.7% of doctors on the medical register at the end of 2013 compared to 32% in 2009
  • 45 – Number of doctors supported by the Health Committee in 2013
  • Design, development and implementation of a continuous improvement framework to support the pursuit of operational excellence in the registration function.
  • Review and amendments to rules governing entry to the new Supervised Division to provide for more streamlined access for applicants and greater use by the HSE.
  • Registration functions became reviewable by the Office of the Ombudsman and to promote a customer focus, a charter was developed, a complaints policy and procedure was revised and new customer feedback systems were established.
Strategic Objective 3: Set and monitor standards for maintenance of professional competence
  • 91% of doctors agree that professional competence activities benefit them and their patients.
  • 10,650 hours of activities were provided by training bodies.
  • Doctors completed 23,400 hours of professional competence activities recognised by training bodies.
  • The first annual audit of doctors’ maintenance of professional competence was completed.
  • An interim strategic review of the Medical Council’s maintenance of professional competence arrangements was undertaken.
  • New performance assessment procedures continued to be operated.

Strategic Objective 4: Take appropriate action to protect the public where standards are not met by individual practitioners
  • 400 number of complaints received during 2013
  • 39 fitness to practise inquiries were completed during the year
  • Five Medical Council case officers became the first ever graduates of the Certified Investigator Training Programme with the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators.
  • In January the High Court delivered judgment in Akpekpe v Medical Council, Ireland and the Attorney General. The Court ruled that provisions in the Medical Practitioners Act concerning sanctions of advice or admonishment following a finding by the Fitness to Practise Committee were constitutional despite the absence of an appeal.
  • In November the High Court delivered judgment in Corbally v Medical Council, Ireland and the Attorney General in November. The Court ruled that in order to make a finding of Poor Professional Performance at a Fitness to Practise inquiry it has to be established that, in the case of a single incident, the failure must be very serious, or alternatively by reference to a fair sample of the doctor’s work which demonstrates unacceptably low standards.

Strategic Objective 5: Engage proactively with the public, the profession and other stakeholders
  • To inform the development of the Council’s 2014 statement of strategy, a comprehensive engagement plan was implemented to measure the views of 1,000 members of the public, 700 doctors and over 40 partner organisations in relation to the Council’s role and remit.
  • A mobile responsive version of the Medical Council website was developed to improve accessibility and interaction on smartphone and mini-tablet devices.
  • A new website area aimed specifically at medical students and trainees was developed for launch in early 2014. This area includes information on all stages of medical education and training such as details of options for specialisation and the ethical standards expected of students and trainees.
Strategic Objective 6: Enable effectiveness through appropriate and efficient internal systems and processes
  • A programme of internal cost cutting resulted in reductions in administration/operational costs of circa €266k in 2013.
  • Targets of 4.2% diversity of revenue streams were exceeded.
  • A workforce plan outlining initiatives undertaken to maximise the flexibility and productivity of staff was implemented, resulting in structural changes designed to bring about greater agility in the organisation’s structure.