Training, Migration and Retention of Doctors: Is Ireland a Danaides’ Jar?; Comment on “Doctor Retention: A Cross-sectional Study of How Ireland Has Been Losing the Battle”

Document Type : Commentary


Institute for Research and Information in Health Economics, Paris, France


In a context of global shortage of doctors, Ireland is in a paradoxical situation: the country trained a lot of medical students, native or foreign, but has difficulties to retain them. The paper of Brugha and his colleagues analyzes junior doctors’ migration intentions, the reasons they leave, the likelihood of them returning and the characteristics of those who plan to emigrate. Results show determinants of junior doctor’s emigration and may be useful to better calibrate the doctors’ retention strategy of Ireland.


  1. Brugha R, Clarke N, Hendrick L, Sweeney J. Doctor retention: a cross-sectional study of how Ireland has been losing the battle. Int J Health Policy Manag. 2020. doi:10.34172/ijhpm.2020.54
  2. Scheffler RM, Arnold DR. Projecting shortages and surpluses of doctors and nurses in the OECD: what looms ahead. Health Econ Policy Law. 2019;14(2):274-290. doi:10.1017/s174413311700055x
  3. World Health Organization (WHO). Global Strategy on Human Resources for Health: Workforce 2030. Geneva: WHO; 2016.
  4. Ono T, Schoenstein M, Buchan J. Geographic Imbalances in Doctor Supply and Policy Responses. Paris: OECD; 2014.
  5. Sousa A, Scheffler RM, Nyoni J, Boerma T. A comprehensive health labour market framework for universal health coverage. Bull World Health Organ. 2013;91(11):892-894. doi:10.2471/blt.13.118927
  6. Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). The Looming Crisis in the Health Workforce: How Can OECD Countries Respond? Paris: OECD; 2008.
  7. Ognyanova D, Maier CB, Wismar M, Girasek E, Busse R. Mobility of health professionals pre and post 2004 and 2007 EU enlargements: evidence from the EU project PROMeTHEUS. Health Policy. 2012;108(2-3):122-132. doi:10.1016/j.healthpol.2012.10.006
  8. Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). Recent Trends in International Migration of Doctors, Nurses and Medical Students. Paris: OECD; 2019.
  9. Moullan Y. The International Migration of Doctors: Impacts and Political Implications. Issues in Health Economics; 2014.
  10. Clarke N, Crowe S, Humphries N, et al. Factors influencing trainee doctor emigration in a high income country: a mixed methods study. Hum Resour Health. 2017;15(1):66. doi:10.1186/s12960-017-0239-7
Volume 10, Issue 10
October 2021
Pages 658-659
  • Receive Date: 24 June 2020
  • Revise Date: 21 October 2020
  • Accept Date: 22 October 2020
  • First Publish Date: 01 November 2020