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News / February 19, 2016

More Irish dental grads working abroad

by Guy Hiscott

More and more dentists are leaving Ireland to pursue careers – but not to the UK.

As of 2013 there were 183 fewer dentists practising in Ireland, despite a rise in the number of graduates, according to recent figures from Eurostat.

Chief executive officer at the Irish Dental Association, Fintan Hourihan, said: ‘[Graduates] are no longer going across to the UK; people are going to Canada where there is a reciprocation of recognising qualifications. They’re also going to New Zealand and Australia and that was not a pattern in dentistry that was there before.’

Professor Brian O’Connell, dean of dental science at the Dublin Dental University Hospital, said: ‘There is no doubt that Irish dental graduates, like other health professionals, are motivated, well-informed and ready to travel abroad in order to find the right professional opportunity.

‘While many of these young dentists will return to Ireland in the future with greater skill and experience, it says something about the state of our health service that we cannot provide attractive early career options for most of them.’

Professor O’Connell believes ‘better prospects’ will lead to a rise in the number of Irish dental professionals staying put.

Check out our interview with Professor O’Connell in Irish Dentistry‘s February issue.