EU freelance GPs pick up NHS slack…

The Belfast Telegraph reports that the out of hours service is being run with the help of around 30 Polish doctors, who in turn pay for locums in Poland to attend to their own patients back home.

“There is no shortfall in GP numbers in Northern Ireland,” the DHSS said. In order to provide OOHS services in Northern Ireland, all GPs, including those from other European Economic Area countries, must be registered with the GMC and meet the requirements of Health and Social Services Boards’ Performers List.”

Dr John Porteous who runs a practice in Lisnakea welcomed the arrival of Polish doctors. “Contract work guarantees you so many shifts per month. But it pays you less per hour than freelance, which is what I do because I have surgery during the day. Freelancers get the shifts left over after the contract guys are finished – you just go onto the website at the start of every month and pick the shifts you want. Fermanagh fills up very quickly because everybody likes working here.”


  • joeCanuck

    I wish we had such doctors over here.
    We have immigrant doctors in Toronto driving taxis because the Ontario Medical Association can’t believe that a doctor trained in, say, India, could possibly be a real doctor.
    In my own small area of about 12,000, 2,000 people have been without a family doctor for three years.
    They have to to to the hospital emergency room and wait hours for the doctor on call to see them. (It’s a small hospital, no permanent doctors and the local G.P.s take turns on call.)

  • Ulster McNulty

    It’s a welcome development. It should be extended to include hospital consultants.