95% Immigrant doctors are not getting Critical Skills Employment Permits though they contribute to 43% of NCHD’s in Irish health system

Almost 600 immigrant doctors working for HSE in general employment permits (GEP) which is huge burden to their families for 6 months to an year. Job hunting, finding new home , finding school for kids, job assurity  of spouses add up to stress for these doctors in Ireland.In addition to that they need to avail appointment to renew the residency permit every 6 months to an year.

There are many complaints and quires regarding of reason for nog giving Critical Skill employment Permits ( CSEP) to NCHDS in Ireland.

As stated by circular 030/2020 immigrant non-EU NCHD’s who are on a training scheme are eligible for CSEP even if they move to multiple sites. But this policy ignores 95% of immigrants NCHD’s as they are not on training schemes when they arrive and are not offered a place on a training scheme even afterwards.

An organisation called “TRAIN US FOR IRELAND” have liased with many Government officials, including Tánaiste Leo Varadkar and he made it very clear to them that all NCHD’s are supposed to get a CSEP and the problem is at HSE/HR level.

Train Us For Ireland, which has extensively campaigned for greater training access for international doctors, has also been raising the anomaly surrounding CSEP eligibility. Train Us For Ireland has contacted members of the Oireachtas committee on enterprise, trade and employment to raise the issue and put forward potential means of resolution.This could involve legal amendment to the CSEP qualifying conditions for NCHDs. Alternatively, hospitals could decide to offer two-year contracts for non-training scheme doctors, or sites within Hospital Groups could coordinate to offer two-year multisite contracts.

As Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment agreed employment permits will be facilitated on a multisite basis for all NCHD’s where this is applied by the employer, therefore a policy should be designed in a way that must favour all NCHD’s and HR’s should implement it.

The follow are suggestions from doctors community including IMO on how all NCHD’s can benefit


Update a policy which makes a clear message to employers that ALL NCHD’s should be offered CSEP irrespective of duration of contract offered. IF NCHDs intend to work under HSE for the next 2 years. If in case any NCHD leaves HSE or has any Hap between employments in 2 years ,the CSEP will be cancelled

For employers/Hospitals

1.Employers should consider offering 2 year NCHD contract for non-training posts which will not be required to be used as a training scheme during that time

2.Hospitals groups for eg SAOLTA UL Hospitals ,Dublin Midlands, CHI etc. to team up and plan for 2 year jobs that can be offered to non-trainees with CSEP

3.Immigrants NCHD’s in peripheral hospitals who has 2 or more years should be offered CSEP from the get go or after 6 months trial phase contract( if they asked for it)

4.Individual employees should partner with HSENDTP medical workforce planning to determine the NCHD post they hold which are

a. Currently training scheme posts

b.Are not currently training  scheme posts but which may become training scheme posts within 2 years

c. Not training scheme posts and are unlikely become training scheme posts within two years. This exercise will allow employers to offer the later posts on a two year CSEP basis

In a recent written response on the matter to Niall Collins TD and Neale Richmond TD, the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment Leo Varadkar stated that the new Employment Permits (Consolidation and Amendment) Bill proposes to include provisions to “streamline” employment permit processes and “improve agility” by moving some of the operational detail from primary legislation to regulation, including duration of an employment permit. This would allow “adjustment to be made more easily in response to changes in industry practices”.

Thus International doctors who are  calling for reform of HSE contracts or a legal amendment to employment permit conditions to ensure they can avail of their professional entitlement to a critical skills employment permit (CSEP) is a big concern for major percentage of doctors working in Ireland and needs at most attention of authorities at the earliest

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