Blog: Medical internship anomaly caused by Brexit set to be resolved through new laws –

A BREXIT ‘ANOMALY’ that prevented people studying medicine in Northern Ireland and Britain accessing medical intern posts in Ireland is set to be resolved through new legislation from Health Minister Stephen Donnelly.

The issue as it stands prevents students from Ireland, who are studying in UK universities, from applying for medical internships within the Irish health service

This also applies to students who are studying medicine in Northern Ireland and has left them unable to apply for internships in organisations like the HSE.

Students need to be either be a graduate or in their final year at medical school in one of the following countries to be able to apply for an internship in Ireland.

  • Ireland
  • Norway
  • Denmark
  • Sweden
  • Italy
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Malta
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Iceland
  • Slovenia
  • The RCSI and UCD Malaysia campus

Prior to Brexit, both Northern Ireland and Britain were locations where students could study and still receive internships in Ireland.

The main aim of taking an internship in Ireland is to receive a ‘Certificate of Experience’, which allows holders to work within the Irish health service.

Due to the anomaly, people studying medicine in Northern Ireland and Britain cannot attain a ‘Certificate of Experience’.

The issue was first reported by The Journal in February, with one medical student from Dublin who was studying in Northern Ireland saying it would impact students who were graduating from Queen’s University.

“I applied to study in Northern Ireland on the basis that I would have no issues in Ireland. They need to get that changed fast,” she said.

Under Donnelly’s plan, which was approved during the last Cabinet meeting of the summer this week, the bill will override the current issue and allow students with UK medical degrees to apply for Irish intern positions.

According to the Government, the Publication of Regulated Professions (Health and Social Care) (Amendment) Bill 2022 will restore the tradition of doctors moving between Ireland and the UK to train.

Donnelly has also waived pre-legislative scrutiny of the bill, to speed up its passing through both the Dáil and Seanad.

In a statement, the Department of Health said that the bill would progress through the Dáil following the summer break.

“When enacted, the legislation will once again allow holders of a UK medical degree to apply for internships in Ireland,” said a spokesperson for the Department.

The issue itself was caused after the UK left the EU, giving it ‘third country’ status and it no longer fulfilling the requirement for medical students to study within the European Union.

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