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irish hospitals

One in five women doctors in Ireland claim to have been sexually harassed

Bully and sexual harassment remain common in Ireland’s medical workplaces, according to the IMO.

ONE IN FIVE women non-consultant hospital doctors claim they have been sexually harassed in their workplace in the past two years, the Irish Medical Organisation (IMO) has said.

In its new report, the organisation has said that 27.7% of women non-consultant hospital doctors, 13.2% of female consultants, 10.4% of GPs and 5% of community health and public health doctors reported being bullied on the basis of their gender during the last two years.

Meanwhile, 21% of female non-consultant hospital doctors reported being sexually harassed in the workplace in the same period.

“The HSE is perceived to be a toxic employer – a damning indictment of a body that is meant to facilitate the delivery of healthcare in Ireland… and the current policies of the HSE surrounding recruitment and retention of doctors in Ireland are failing,” Dr Rhona Mahony, Master of the National Maternity Hospital said.

The report said that bullying, harassment and sexual harassment appear to remain common features of medical practice in Ireland, despite efforts to curtail their impact and prevalence.

Recruitment and emigration

The IMO said that pay levels were one of the main issues relating to the emigration of young doctors.

It said that 66.2% of non-consultant hospital doctors perceive pay to be a primary reason for the emigration of their peers from Ireland. 82.3% of the doctors believe their pay would be increased by moving abroad.

Additionally, 58.4% of non-consultant hospital doctors had been approached by an agency or employer seeking to recruit them to a medical post in another jurisdiction.

The report noted a growing problem in recruiting doctors and consultants to Ireland’s health system.

Based on information provided to the IMO by the Hanly Report, taking the population of Ireland into account the Irish health service should employ around 4,400 consultants.

However, at the moment only around 3,000 consultant posts have been approved, while just 2,427 have been permanently filled.

The report said: “The increasing need for reliance on foreign-trained doctors, despite the training of more than adequate numbers of doctors in Ireland to fulfil all medical posts in the Irish health system is the more clear symptom of the deep unattractiveness with which the Irish health system is viewed by doctors trained in this country.”

Read: Doctors say more babies are getting potentially fatal whooping cough

More: Health minister says the €60 price tag to see a GP is too expensive

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