Irish working migrants unlikely to return home

Published:  2 Dec at 6 PM
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The health sector in Ireland is in a poor state, having lost many of its professionals to the lure of emigration, and those who have left are unlikely to want to return.

A recent study by researchers at University College Cork has revealed that almost half of those who have emigrated since the economic crisis hit home were in full-time employment. The results suggest that the tough budgets put in place since the crash have been as responsible as has high unemployment for the present Diaspora.

Severe cutbacks in funding have made Ireland’s health sector an acute example of damage done by the exodus of qualified health professionals. Hospitals are struggling to fill not just nursing jobs but consultant positions as well.

Overworked junior doctors staged a strike recently, the first in 25 years, and those who left for greener grass over the last few years have no appetite for returning. Almost 10 per cent of emigrants were qualified health professionals, with many snapped up by Australia and Canada at job fairs in Ireland’s major cities.

One junior doctor now working happily in Australia told reporters he didn’t emigrate for more money or sunshine, but because he wanted to spend more time with his wife, also a doctor. Health professionals at all levels were working illegally long shifts and putting patients’ lives at risk through exhaustion, he said, adding that work practices in Ireland were Victorian at best.
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