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Update on COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

RCPI update on COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

Updated 15 March 2020

There are a number of cases of Covid-19 on the island of Ireland. The situation in relation to COVID-19 is rapidly evolving. We are following official advice.

Our primary concern is the health and safety of our Members, those attending events at RCPI, our staff and the public. Regular updates will be published on this page. 

The majority of RCPI employees are now working from home, in line with recommendations from the Department of Health. As a result, the best way to contact us is by email instead of by phone.

Updates on RCPI courses and events 

Courses, events and study days due to take place in the College in March 2020 will not be going ahead as planned. They are

  • Cancelled
  • Postponed to a later date
  • Or will be delivered using our Virtual Learning Environment, if possible

Our courses and events team will contact you by email to advise of any alternative arrangements for courses and events that you were booked into.

We are mindful of the pressures on the health system currently and are reviewing College activities to ease those pressures as much as possible.

Updates on RCPI examinations

For information on our examinations and conferring ceremonies please check here

Medical Council messages for doctors in relation to Covid-19

Please see below for some important updates from the Medical Council.

Doctors on the Trainee Specialist Division/Supervised Division 

Any site designated as a clinical site in this emergency will be deemed appropriate for doctors on either the Specialist Trainee Division or the Supervised Division provided it is under the supervision of nearest hospital or a Senior Clinician. In the current health crisis doctors may be asked to perform duties that are outside their current scope of practice. We recognise this may be necessary, but all tasks and roles carried out should be within a doctor’s capabilities and with adequate supervision.

Medical Ethics 

The Medical Council acknowledges the exceptional circumstances faced by medical practitioners in managing the COVID-19 pandemic in Ireland, which will pose considerable medical, ethical, and societal challenges. The Medical Council wishes to express its support for doctors in providing medical care with humanity and dignity to affected patients of all ages, beliefs and cultures. As the impact of the pandemic grows, healthcare resources may become overwhelmed. Allocation of finite healthcare resources in a way that is equitable and just will present difficult choices. Doctors have a duty to use resources prudently and fairly, to produce the most benefits possible for individuals served by those interventions.

The Medical Council recognises the difficulties that this will raise, particularly for healthcare professionals working in Intensive Care Medicine. They will need to evaluate patients and identify those with the best chance of recovery. In making decisions based on the principle of prioritising the use of scarce resources to treat those patients most likely to survive, more lives are likely to be preserved. This appraisal of the potential benefits a treatment might provide to different patients lies within the scope of experienced Intensive Care Medicine doctors. It is acknowledged that patients, families, or allied healthcare professionals, may sometimes hold different views.

The burden of decisions made by medical practitioners during this time of healthcare crisis is shared by the Medical Council and our wider society

Self-care and Doctor Health 

While providing high levels of medical care during this pandemic, doctors have a duty to protect their own health and contribute to the safety and wellbeing of other healthcare workers. Registered medical practitioners of all levels of training and experience are called upon to do their utmost in giving compassionate care to patients, and wholehearted support to each other.

Please remember that amidst the increased workload, longer hours, additional pressure and stress, please take the time to care for yourself. Take breaks, eat regularly, and get rest. All doctors are on the front-line, and the priority for doctors is to self-protect in order to protect and treat others. A sick doctor becomes a patient, while a healthy doctor can treat and see patients or remotely triage and help patients and our communities.

If you are on a Professional Competence Scheme

Due to significant workload and potential travel disruptions arising due to Covid-19, the Medical Council appreciate that some doctors may choose not to attend European and International medical education related conferences or have difficulty in recording their CPD. If, as a result of this you will not meet your CPD requirements can you please do the following:

  1. Advise your Professional Competence Scheme
  2. When completing the Annual Retention Application Form (ARAF), tick No you are not compliant.

By doing both of these your circumstances will be taken into consideration in the compliance monitoring process, and if your compliance with the requirements has been consistent in the past, this deviation should not cause you any great concern.

Irish Government response to Covid-19 (Coronavirus)

The Irish Government has announced measures to protect citizens by delaying the spread of Covid-19.

Details of these measures can be found here:  https://www.gov.ie/en/publication/ea1c30-updated-measures-in-response-to-covid-19-coronavirus 

Where to find Covid-19 information and prevention measures

We are still open for business

Most RCPI staff are currently working from home so the best way to contact us is by email.

Examinations Department

Our Examinations Department is happy to talk to you about applying to any of our postgraduate examinations. Please note, at present the fastest way to contact this department is via email.

  • Occupational Medicine: Iain MartelIainMartel@RCPI.ie, +353 1 8639 723
  • General Medicine Clinical: Gerard Kearns, GerardKearns@RCPI.IE, +353 1 8639 786
  • General Medicine Part II Written / Public Health: Marianna Kyjovska, MariannaKyjovska@RCPI.ie, +353 1 8639 762
  • General Medicine Part I/ Diploma in Clinical Psychiatry/ MRCPI Conferring Ceremony: Theresa Murphy, TheresaMurphy@RCPI.ie, +353 1 8639 778
  • Paediatrics Part I & II Written: Louise TreacyLouiseTreacy@RCPI.IE, +353 1 8639 614
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology Part II Written & Part II OSCE/Clinical: Paediatrics Clinical, Virginia Cidfuente VirginiaCidfuentes@RCPI.IE,  +353 1 8639 606

Professional Competence

Tel: +353 1 863 9739

We have a highly experienced Professional Competence support team in our Dublin headquarters. They are always happy to answer your questions and advise you on how to maintain Professional Competence. Please note, at present the fastest way to contact this department is via email.

  • If you need help with your ePortfolio, we can arrange a convenient time to work with you to ensure your records are up to date.
  • If you need advice on how to apply for CPD approval for your event call or email with your event title and proposed date and we will talk you through what you need to do.
  • Contact Jennifer Noordman or Deirdre Donegan in our Professional Competence Department for any queries relating to your professional competence scheme or your application for CPD approval.
  • Alternatively, you might like to visit Professional Competence FAQs

Higher Specialist Training

Tel: +353 1 863 9624

Contact our Higher Specialist Training department for information about HST and how to apply. Please note, at present the fastest way to contact this department is via email. 

Basic Specialist Training

Tel: + 353 1 863 9719

Contact our BST department for information about BST. Please note, at present the fastest way to contact this department is via email.

Postgraduate Medical Education Centre

Tel: +353 1 863 9694

Contact us for information about our courses, diplomas and Masterclasses. Please note, at present the fastest way to contact this department is via email. 

RCPI Helpdesk

Tel: +353 1 8639721

Contact our Helpdesk for assistance with using our online products and services. Open Monday to Friday, 9:00am - 5:00pm. In Ireland? Call us free of charge on 1800 303 574 (Republic of Ireland only).