Harris recruits a doctor "seriously"

Health Minister Simon Harris said he is very serious about concerns about standards of healthcare recruitment.

It comes after the younger doctor was employed in the maternity hospital, even though he lacked basic medical competence.

Yesterday, the Supreme Court President, Judge Peter Kelly, ordered the physician to be suspended at the request of the medical counsel until he was investigated.

In his judgment, Mr Justice Kelly said that faulty recruitment procedures and interviews with doctors posed a danger to patients and ordered that his observations be communicated to the Minister and executive medical staff.

Speaking about the sixth RTÉ, Secretary Harris said he wrote the HSE and sought an urgent response to the judge's concerns.

He said, however, that in Ireland nearly 23,000 doctors are registered in Ireland in 2017; there were about 350 complaints and only three doctors dropped.

Minister Harris said he was satisfied that the Medical Board was a strong regulator, and said that this case demonstrates that there is a regulatory system in place.

Appropriate doctors filed a complaint and were suspended within a few days, he added.

In today's statement, the medical council said she shared the concerns raised by Judge Kelly about the recruitment of young doctors with an appropriate level of experience and qualifications.

She said she had expressed her concerns in the past for HSE and medical recruiting firms.

"The Medical Board does not have any role to play in the employment of doctors. If a doctor is in the register, it does not mean they are appropriate for each role," he adds.

"It is up to employers to determine the suitability of a doctor to meet the job requirements and to ensure that they are supported and properly supervised in their role."

Formerly Tanaiste Simon Coveney gave Dáil "absolute certainty" that the minister raises concerns raised by the President of the Supreme Court very seriously.

Simon Coveney responded to questions in the Dara of Pharaoh's Dara Callear, who asked for a guarantee "that other rogue doctors work in our system."

The Tonalist said, "Judge Peter Kelly is a very serious person, and when he makes such a verdict, the government is listening and dealing."

He also said that "HSE is currently conducting a detailed review of recruitment processes to introduce the revised model next year."

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