Doctors appeal for reinstatement of medical exam to open up new jobs

A group of non-EU qualified doctors has written to Health Minister Stephen Donnelly, asking for urgent action over the suspension of an exam that allows them to apply for jobs here.

he Medical Council’s pre-registration examination system (PRES) level 3 clinical skills examination remains suspended after more than a year, with more than 100 doctors currently waiting to sit the exam.

Some groups of international medical graduates are required to complete the PRES exams to register with the Medical Council and practise in Ireland.

The PRES 3 exam has been suspended since the onset of the pandemic.

In a letter to the minister, more than 30 doctors who are waiting to sit the exam urged him to intervene to allow it to go ahead.

“We have been eagerly waiting to join our colleagues in the fight against Covid-19 but, unfortunately, without the registration we cannot work in our capacity as doctors,” they wrote.

“Many restrictions have been lifted and a lot of non-essential services in the country have since started opening, but it is quite frustrating for us that the PRES exams, which are very essential to increase the number of doctors working in Ireland during this Covid-19 pandemic, have not yet been scheduled to resume.”

If the exams cannot proceed, the doctors have asked the minister to consider an “exemption to those with valid General Medical Council of UK
PLAB 2”. 

This is a PRES 3 equivalent clinical competent assessment exam.

They are also asking Mr Donnelly to consider “temporary general registration” that will enable them to apply for jobs here.

The doctors said they have been out of medical practice while waiting for the exams.

“This has a detrimental effect on our career,” they added.

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