Written answers

Thursday, 12 May 2022

Photo of Neale RichmondNeale Richmond (Dublin Rathdown, Fine Gael)
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320. To ask the Minister for Health if he will establish a central mechanism for registered doctors to volunteer to help Ukrainian refugees access healthcare; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23915/22]

Photo of Stephen DonnellyStephen Donnelly (Wicklow, Fianna Fail)
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I would like to assure you that the Government of Ireland stands ready to assist in any way that we can as part of the national humanitarian response to this terrible crisis in Europe.

The Government is committed to delivering a humanitarian response that allows people fleeing the war in Ukraine and seeking protection in Ireland the ability to integrate into society as seamlessly as possible. To that end, I fully appreciate the importance of facilitating access to employment for doctors arriving in Ireland.

My Department, along with the Medical Council and the HSE will continue to ensure that all avenues are being explored with a view to enabling Ukrainian qualified doctors to apply for registration, always conscious of the need to ensure that patient safety is to the fore when any decisions are being taken. The HSE, through the National Doctors Training & Planning Unit (NDTP), in partnership with the Council and the Postgraduate Training Bodies, is coordinating an information gathering process which is collating information about healthcare professionals who are coming to Ireland. This data collection process is ongoing and will assist the relevant bodies in supporting these doctors and enable them to contact the individual doctors directly. The HSE is also looking at other options which these doctors can avail of while registration is pending, such as medical translation and access to CPD resources.

The Medical Council is the statutory agency responsible for the registration and regulation of doctors in Ireland. In order to protect patients, it has a responsibility to ensure that all doctors registered to practice medicine in Ireland are safe to do so and meet the requirements to practice as set out in legislation. Officials from my Department have been in regular contact with the Council to examine the ways in which support can be provided to doctors arriving from Ukraine and to ensure that practitioners can be assisted and facilitated in gaining registration where possible. The Council is working with a range of stakeholders in this regard including the HSE, Postgraduate Training Bodies and the Irish Medical Schools Council.

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