Thursday, 16 December 2021
Ceisteanna ar Reachtaíocht a Gealladh - Questions on Promised Legislation
I thank the Deputy for raising the issue. Non-EEA, non-European doctors make an enormous contribution to the Irish heath service. They have been doing service jobs in hospitals throughout the country for decades. They have also done a phenomenal job during the pandemic. Non-European doctors are not always treated very well in our system. It is hard for them to get consultant posts or to get on specialist training schemes. The Minister for Health, Deputy Donnelly, and I are working on it and will change it. We have already changed the system to allow for a two-year work permit so a doctor does not need to change his or her work permit every time he or she moves hospital every six months. In addition, we are going to offer stamp 4 visas to non-European doctors who are here for more than two years. That will allow those doctors to qualify for specialist training schemes and apply for consultant posts on the same basis as an Irish or EU citizen, once they have been working in our system for two years. We will be implementing those changes in a matter of weeks.