65 medics not fully qualified for specialist posts they currently hold

Patient's safety has to come first - that's the message from the Irish Patients Association reacting to the number of non-specialist doctors working as consultants.

Sinn Féin TD Louise O'Reilly obtained figures revealing at least 65 medics are not fully qualified for the posts they hold - including 12 psychiatrists and 10 surgeons - as they are not on the specialist register.

IPA spokesperson Stephen McMahon said part of the problem was a huge pressure to recruit consultants.

He said: "We hear about our huge waiting lists in some areas, which are dependent on having these specialists appointed.

"While the HSE have assured us that they have risk assessed doctors that are working in smaller hospitals as consultants.

"At the end of the day, I believe that the regulator has a bigger role to play in this, that this is all about patient safety and confidence by the public in the high standards that consultants are expected to have."


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