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The Overseas Medics of Ireland was founded by Mr. Altaf Naqvi, Consultant General Surgeon in 2003. OMI is a non-political organization which looks after the interests of overseas doctors working in Ireland. OMI have been running a regular Training and Education programme for junior doctors every six monthly since 2003. OMI also conducted Squash, Cricket and Badminton competitions and social gatherings in the past. The web address of Overseas Medics of Ireland is http://altafnaqvi.tripod.com/

The Annual Meeting of the Overseas Medics of Ireland was conducted on May 2nd at the Millennium Centre, Caherconlish, Limerick. The meeting was sponsored by TTM Healthcare based in Ennis, Co. Clare.  The one day meeting was attended by a significant number of overseas doctors and their families. The meeting was chaired by Mr Bejoy Philip, Chairman of OMI. The overseas doctors raised a number of issues facing them at present and the following motions were passed.

 

1.      The current system of renewal of visa based on the contract has lead to a significant number of doctors moving out of the country. This has in turn led to shortage of NCHDs in many hospitals across Ireland which is currently posing a substantial risk to patient’s safety. The proposal by the Department of Justice to introduce Stamp 1 Visa for those already on Stamp 4 visa, was strongly opposed by the OMI members and many doctors in the meeting expressed their view that they would leave Ireland if that is implemented in the future.

 OMI strongly calls for the immediate restoration of 2 years renewal of Stamp 4 Visa for doctors who are already working in the Health Services in Ireland. OMI also strongly opposes the introduction of Stamp 1 Visa for those already on Stamp 4 Visa and requests greater clarity on the issue of eligibility of Irish citizenship for doctors living and working in this country for more than 60 months.

 2.      The issue of a number of Registrars in Medicine, Surgery and A &E across Ireland being forced to get General Registration by the hospitals was raised. This has been complicated by the new rules of the Medical council that, those wanting to get General Registration will need to get a certificate of completion of basic training from their respective training bodies, which is not possible by many of the overseas doctors due to the rules surrounding the eligibility for same. This has lead to a scenario whereby more doctors will be forced to leave the country due to lack of progress in their careers and better opportunities in other countries. OMI calls for immediate withdrawal of such restrictions and conditions being put on doctors to get the General Registration and in turn to get the Registrar posts across Ireland.

 3.      The discrepancies in payment of Training grant across the various health boards in HSE was discussed. One of the members raised the issue of her/him being not paid around 8000Euros of training grant while she/he was working in a HSE hospital, although she/he reported of applying for the same in October – November 2009, well before the restrictions on training grant was enforced in the first week of February 2010. OMI calls for all outstanding, appropriate training grant requests made prior to February 2010 to be paid immediately and in full as agreed by the HSE with the IMO, subsequent to the agreement in the Labour Court.

 4.      OMI also calls for the immediate withdrawal of restrictions on doing locums by NCHDs in the current medical council registration system which has only lead to shortage of doctors in posts which would have been otherwise covered by Locum NCHDs, like the out of hours GP services and some A&E posts.

 5.      OMI members also raised the issue of establishment of staff grade posts which has already been passed as a motion in the IMO.OMI supports the establishment of such posts and requests the HSE to implement the establishment of staff grade posts across Ireland as soon as possible, which would in many ways address the shortage of doctors being faced across the country.

 6.      The issue of number of days of annual leave as interpreted by the HSE was discussed and it was restated to the members, that the number of days of annual leave shall remain the same as per the old contract (which was confirmed by IMO in their April update on the same). OMI members were strongly advised to continue taking the same number of annual leaves, as in the old contract.

 Furthermore, Mr Naqvi, Consultant Surgeon gave a presentation on ‘Communication skill with patients & relatives’.

 Mr. Richard Morton of TTM Healthcare gave a brief outline of the different locum posts available in Ireland and abroad. He also gave a presentation on CV writing and interview preparation.

 Mr. Bejoy Philip, the Chairman on OMI introduced the office bearers for 2010 – 2011. Mr Altaf Naqvi, Consultant Surgeon and Honorary Chairman

Dr. Narayanan Subramanian – Vice Chairman

Dr. Aftab Khattak – Secretary

Dr. Pardeep Kumar Maheshwari - Organising secretary

 

OMI members greatly appreciated the efforts by Dr. Pardeep Kumar Maheshwari, Organising secretary and Dr. Aftab Khattak, Secretary in organising this meeting.

 

OMI welcomes overseas doctors to get involved in issues facing them by being an active member of the OMI. Application forms for membership in the OMI can be obtained by contacting overseasmedics@gmail.com.

 

 

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