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Annual Report and Financial Statements 2016

The Annual Report and Financial Statements highlight the Council's activities in 2016. Developments during the year include;

  • By the end of 2016, there was a record high of 21,795 doctors registered with The Medical Council.
  • Being committed to enhancing the culture of patient safety in Ireland, The Medical Council published in May 2016 the 8th Edition of the Guide for Professional Conduct and Ethics.
  • Your Training Counts Survey 2016 was carried out again and the results from the 2015 survey were used to initiate the Safe Start Programme which was announced in February 2016.

speaker icon  Listen to Dr. John Barragry's presentation at the Annual Report 2016/Your Training Counts Launch, held on August 31st 2017.


doctors registered in 2016


anatomy donations were made to medical schools 


complaints received


doctors were supported by the Medical Council's Health Committee 


increase of website visits on 2015


of the medical workforce female

More Information

Strategic Objective One: Develop an effective and efficient register that is responsive to the changing needs of the public and the medical profession

The medical register contains the name of every doctor allowed to practice medicine in Ireland. By maintaining a strict registration process, the Medical Council ensures that only those appropriately qualified gain the right to practice, thereby endeavouring to assure patient safety.

  • 450 pre-registration examinations were sat to gain entry to the Irish medical register. There was a 40% pass rate on the computer - based and 68% on the clinical - based pre-registration examination system.
  • 21,795 doctors were registered in 2016. This was a significant increase in the number of new doctors registered.
  • Approximately 2,714 doctors were registered with the Medical Council for the first time.
  • From January 2016, Medical Council infrastructure developments enabled applicants to complete computer-based pre-registration exams at a wider range of centres around the world.
  • In December 2016, 18 doctors were monitored to ensure compliance with the conditions imposed on their practice.
  • During 2015, a need for specific induction requirements for doctors new to the Irish health system was identified. This led to the initiation of the Safe Start Programme.
  • Your Training Counts, the annual national trainee experience survey, was published in July 2016.
Strategic Objective Two: Create a supportive learning environment to enable good professional practice

Doctors continue to learn and augment their skills throughout their professional lives, and the Medical Council plays an important role in providing a supportive environment conducive to such development.

  • An updated Guide to Professional Conduct and Ethics (8th Edition) was launched at an event at the Light House Cinema in May 2016.
  • A database of anatomy donors is maintained and approximately 100 donations were made to medical schools in Ireland during 2016.
Strategic Objective Three: Maintain the confidence of the public and profession in the Medical Council’s processes by developing a proportionate and targeted approach to regulatory activities

The Medical Council’s processes for complaints about doctors are designed to safeguard members of the public, and focus on investigating complaints in a robust and fair manner.

  • 411 complaints were received by the Council. 
  • There were 47 cases for fitness to practise inquiries completed in 2016.
  • 90 doctors who qualified outside the EU/EEA were complained against compared to 7 complaints in 2015
  • A public survey carried out by Amárach Consulting in late 2016 showed a high level of trust in doctors, with 93% of those surveyed trusting doctors to tell the truth.
  • The Medical Council undertook its own survey of doctors which highlighted a number of concerns around doctor’s wellbeing. Over half of doctors said that work-related stress negatively affected their overall welfare.
Strategic Objective Four: Enhance patient safety through insightful research and greater engagement

Engagement with the public, doctors and partner organisations continued to be a focus for the Medical Council in 2016, while the Council’s research focus broadened during the year, with a range of research projects undertaken, including:

  • The Medical Council launched the Research in Medical Education Awards in a partnership arrangement with the Irish Network of Medical Educators (INMED) to undertake bodies of research in the areas of undergraduate, post-graduate and ongoing professional development.
  • In October, the Medical Council hosted its inaugural Patient Safety & Leadership Conference, ‘Enhancing the Culture of Patient Safety’ at the Radisson Blu Royal Hotel, Golden Lane.
  • Listening to Complaints; learning for good professional practice – a five year review of complaints
  • Astronaut Colonel Eileen Collins, the first female to pilot and command an American space shuttle also addressed the event, and elucidated on the principles of teamwork, including the key factors for successful leadership.
  • Publication of public booklet ‘Working with Your Doctor: Useful Information for Patients’, the booklet was designed to inform patients how to get the most from their relationship with their doctor.
Strategic Objective Five: Build an organisational culture that supports leadership and learning

The Council again focussed its attention on developing an efficient and capable workforce, concentrating on implementing best practice in governance and human resources.

  • Development of a comprehensive Learning and Development (L&D) Plan for Council to achieve policy development and learning objectives.
  • The sessions took place throughout the year, and included presentations on Open Disclosure; on the changes made over last 5 years in relation to Obstetrical Care in the Republic of Ireland; Patient Safety in Ireland; Recent Developments in Regulation, and The Enright Decision.
  • two programs of a tailored IPA delivered leadership development course were delivered in 2016 in conjunction with other health regulators.

Strategic Objective Six: Develop a sustainable and high - performing organisation

An emphasis was placed on business process improvement in 2016, with a continued focus on providing services in a cost-effective manner.

  • The Medical Council reviewed its income model and as a result offered of a discount of €45 to doctors in the first three years on the Register.
  • The development of a bespoke ICT Helpdesk and a review of the day to day operations of the ICT function and its active security measures.
  • Lynn House, the former offices of the Medical Council, was sold last year, following consent from both the Minister for Health and the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform.
  • The Council approved the Corporate Procurement Plan for the period 2016-2018.
  • Some key deliverables by the Facilities Team included; an update of the Medical Council’s Health and Safety statement, and completion of further H&S training and upskilling for Occupational First Aiders and Fire Wardens.