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Impact of changes to employment permits and visas for healthcare workers

The level of demand within the Healthcare sector has been undoubtedly, one of the most challenging and critical concerns that Ireland faces.

The provision of primary health care requires a certain level of resources throughout the country and this has always meant an ongoing recruitment drive within our two healthcare divisions, Locum Express and PE Global Healthcare, to meet this need.

There has been extensive research into how this is best accomplished by both ourselves and the HSE and we have worked continuously to assist in achieving the levels of staffing required.

I feel that the measures our Government have recently put in place such as changes to employment permits and visas that will make it easier for doctors to attain residency within a shorter time frame and also give their spouses an unlimited right to work.

Healthcare Assistants made eligible for employment permits and dieticians qualifying for a critical-skills employment permits and now that Social Workers, Occupational Therapists, Physiotherapists and Speech and Language Therapists are deemed as occupations eligible for an employment permit have all made Ireland an increasingly popular choice for applicants from both EU and non EU countries.

I am seeing a positive impact from these changes already and the number of doctors contacting Locum Express from abroad looking to move to Ireland is increasing daily. Also there is more certainty amongst doctors who have already made the move to Ireland about their future here and there is less moving onwards to Canada or the UK.

Our dedicated team of recruiters and resourcers whose priority is to headhunt and engage with Healthcare staff all over the world have noted that in addition to doctors looking to move here there has been a marked increase in skilled workers across all areas of Healthcare applying to us.

If more changes could be made in the future to look at retaining our younger Irish doctors where the trend is to move to Australia for example after they have worked for a few years in Ireland then I think that we would see less statistics on waiting lists and less demands on our ED departments.

For more information re: Locum Doctor opportunities visit or contact our team of Healthcare Recruitment Consultants at 021 4297900 or email

For more information re: our current opportunities for nurses, HCAs, AHPs and Social Workers visit or call 0818 22 20 18 or email

Credit to Grainne Killilea, Director, Locum Express and PE Global Healthcare