The Doctor Migration Project (2010-2014) was a research project which aimed to assess the contribution made by non-EU migrant doctors to the Irish health system. It also examined the experiences of non-EU migrant doctors in Ireland and ascertained their plans for the future. Did You Know...
Ireland has the second highest level of dependency in the OECD on foreign-trained doctors
Over half of Ireland’s junior hospital doctors (NCHDs) are non-Irish
Very little is known about non-EU migrant doctors - where do they come from, where do they work within the health system, how long do they intend to remain in Ireland for?
The Doctor Migration Project scope was to find answers to some of these questions in order to strengthen the evidence base and capacity for effective workforce planning for Irish policy makers. The Doctor Migration Project was a three year research project, funded by the Health Research Board (HRB). The project was a collaboration between the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI) and Trinity College Dublin (TCD).
Failure to Retain: The health workforce implications of the emigration of Irish trained doctors and nurses 2008-2013 (F2R Project)
The F2R Project is a collaborative research project between RCSI (Dr. Niamh Humphries and Prof. Ruairi Brugha) and DCU (Dr. Anne Matthews) which was funded by an RCSI Seed Funding Award in 2013. The project analysed the emigration patterns of doctors and nurses (both Irish trained and non-Irish trained) who emigrated from the Irish health system between 2008 and 2013 and considered the health workforce implications of their emigration.
The project used secondary data analysis and quantitative data collection (online survey) to achieve its objectives. Project Objectives:
To use secondary data to quantify the extent of health worker emigration from Ireland 2008-2013
To profile those doctors and nurses who have indicated their intent to emigrate from Ireland 2008-2013, using secondary data analysis of information held on professional registers
To profile and survey a sample of doctors and nurses who emigrated from Ireland between 2008 and 2013 to identify their motivation for emigration, specifically;
What factors triggered emigration intent?
To what extent are these factors internal to the health system (e.g. work overload, career progression, burnout, job dissatisfaction) or external to the health system (e.g. spouse unemployment, opportunities overseas)
How did emigration intent translate into emigration for these health workers?
What factors influence whether emigration is temporary or permanent?
4. To explore, with key stakeholders, the health workforce planning implications of doctor and nurse emigration 2008-2013 & to support Irish health human resource management.
The Nurse Migration Project (2006-2010) was a HRB funded project (RP/2006/222) conducted by an RCSI based research team consisting of Dr. Niamh Humphries, Professor Ruairí Brugha and Professor Hannah McGee. Findings from the Nurse Migration Project;
Demonstrated the extent to which Ireland was reliant upon non-EU migrant nurses to meet staff it’s health system - between 2000 and 2009, 38% of nurses newly registered in Ireland came from outside the EU
Highlighted the fact that this dependence on non-EU migrant nurses indicated an inability to supply enough nurses to meet demand
Drew attention to the fact that Ireland needed better data on its nursing workforce in order to plan for the future
Developed a profile of non-EU migrant nurses working in Ireland, providing policy makers with demographic information, insights into their prior nursing experience and qualifications, information on their career progression and overall experience in Ireland
Revealed that only one in five migrant nurses intended to remain in Ireland in the long-term
The Nurse Migration Project focussed attention on the migrant health workers who make a substantial contribution to the Irish health system
All journal articles and policy briefs to emerge from the Nurse Migration projectare available here.
South African Doctors Project
Posy Bidwell undertook a PhD in TCD (under the supervision of Steve Thomas) on the migration patterns of South African doctors to Ireland. Analysis of the IMC Register revealed that although South Africans comprise the largest number of non-EU doctors registered in Ireland (n=1,632), 81% (1330) remain resident in South Africa. Preliminary research undertaken with these doctors reveals that most plan to work in Ireland on a temporary rather than a permanent basis, for instance working as locum GPs on a 6 week basis. Temporary migration has a different dynamic to permanent migration, for the individual migrant and for the health systems of both the exporting and importing countries.