Non-EEA doctors no longer need to sit the PRES

Doctors advised public consultation on new registration rules open until December 8

The Medical Council is contacting non-European Economic Area (EEA) doctors who already hold general registration but had applied to sit the Pre-Registration Examination System (PRES) in order to establish eligibility for Trainee Specialist registration, to let them know that they no longer need to sit the exam.

Doctors from outside the EEA already holding general registration, and who did not meet exemption criteria, had been obliged to sit the PRES to apply for postgraduate specialist training.

The introduction of long-awaited legislative changes, commenced at the beginning of the month aimed at opening up access to specialist training to non-EEA doctors, are now in train as the Medical Council puts out new draft rules to public consultation.

The Medical Practitioners Act 2007, which governs the registration of doctors, has been amended by the Regulated Professions (Health and Social Care) (Amendment) Act 2020.

A key amendment has been the removal of the requirement for non-EEA doctors to have the equivalence of a Certificate of Experience for registration in the Trainee Specialist Division.

This change means that any doctor who is fully eligible for general registration with the Medical Council can now apply for specialist training programmes in Ireland.

The amendment is being ushered in under the Medical Council (Recognition and Registration) Rules 2020 currently at draft stage.

When published, the new 2020 rules are “to define the manner in which medical practitioners can establish their eligibility to be registered to practise medicine in Ireland.”

The Council is now undertaking a public consultation on the rules which are to guide the administrative arrangements to support the legislative changes.
Before the changes, recognition of internships as equivalent to Irish or European Union training had been limited.

The Medical Council’s registration team has emailed all registered doctors to advise them of the public consultation on the draft registration rules which ends on December 8.

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