FRS Recruitment have the largest Doctors Recruitment team in Ireland. We work with Doctors from all over the world and assist them finding a job and matching them with the right hospital to suit their background and skills.

We recently identified that many of the Doctors we placed in Emergency Departments in Irish Hospitals had gained experience in South African Hospitals. For the purpose of this article, we spoke with Emergency Medicine Doctors from different parts of the world but who had all gained experience in a South African hospital.


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In conversation with these Emergency Medicine Doctors we had assisted in relocating to Ireland and with the hospitals we work with, we sought to identify why these placements had been so successful and have summarised our findings as follows;

  1. Quality of Life

All the Emergency Medicine Doctors we spoke with identified that they were happy with their new surroundings in Ireland. Many of the Doctors had come from areas where there had been some recent unrest. In Ireland, crime rates are very low in comparison. This means that most Emergency Medicine Doctors and their families relocating here have been surprised and delighted by the freedom of movement and quality of life they have. One Doctor told us with a big smile on his face that he just loves going out for a jog and not worrying about what time it is or what route he will take.

All 32 counties in Ireland are safe places for families to visit and the combination of the feeling of safety coupled with beautiful rugged scenery appeals to our ED Doctors.

Other discussion points in relation to quality of life included free education that is ranked amongst the best in the world, good holiday allowance (Most Doctors get 32 days holidays per year) and good work-life balance.

The friendliness also helps, some of the Doctors thought this might be a cliché but were pleasantly surprised by the friendliness of most patients and colleagues. One Doctor told us “some of these patients have been on a trolley for hours waiting to be treated and sometimes in pain, you expect them all to be angry and it's so nice when you meet them and they are just happy to meet you and have them help you. Look, they are not all wonderful, but by and large, most Irish people I have met have been talkative and friendly”

Ireland has been consistently listed as one of the friendliest countries to move to (Expat Insider 2015 survey, Lonely Planet Blue List 2018, Condé Nast Traveller 2020)

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  1. Compensation

Most of the Emergency Medicine Doctors we spoke with who had gained experience in South Africa advised us that salary was similar to what they earned in South Africa but that in Ireland, they worked far fewer hours to earn similar money. They did tell us that the basic salary scales are quite misleading and that with overtime and shift allowances, their income was higher than they expected when they received their contracts. For some, this was negated by the cost of relocating to Ireland, flights, rental deposits and processing costs of IMC registration, work permit etc. Most agreed that after the first few months, the costs were cleared and they were definitely earning more. Most would agree that to be cost effective, they would definitely recommend coming to Ireland for contracts of six months or longer.

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  1. Training and Recognition

Ireland has a long tradition of creating some of the best Medics in the world and it is difficult to find a world leading medical service that doesn’t have an Irish Doctor on its staff.

Emergency Medicine Doctors who relocate to Ireland are happy with the experiences they gain, and the recognition given to the experience they achieve in Ireland when they applying to training schemes, fellowship programmes and higher level positions both in Ireland and abroad.

Prior to October 2020 some were disappointed by their opportunities to enter formal accredited training however the Medical Practitioner’s legislation changed in October 2020 and now allows for Doctors who qualified outside of the European Union to be eligible to apply for training programmes in Ireland. The Core Specialist Training in Emergency Medicine (CSTEM) is one Irish training programme that encourages applications from South African Doctors. South African Doctors who have been successful with gaining places on this programme or on UK training programmes have attributed their success to the weight held by good experience and a reference from an Irish Emergency Department.

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  1. Job Success

Throughout our discussions with both the hospitals, Emergency Departments and the Doctors, we found that a critical factor in the happiness of both the employer and employee came down to job performance. The Doctors we reviewed who were working in Emergency Departments in Irish Teaching Hospitals were considered to be top performers.

The Doctors tell us that the Emergency Departments in South Africa are often extremely busy and quite often understaffed; this means that Doctors working in these departments must upskill very quickly and often treat very acutely ill patients. The Doctors with emergency department experience in South Africa “hit the ground running”, they bring sound clinical knowledge and confident yet informed decision-making skills. This high praise received from several Emergency Department Heads means that Doctors with experience from South Africa are very well received into Ireland, allowing us as Recruiters to engage with them from their very first thoughts of Ireland, assisting them in securing job offers with highly desirable hospitals from very early in the process. This hands-on guidance through the relocation process and warm welcome they receive on arrival results in these Doctors reporting a higher level of job satisfaction.

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  1. Kindred Spirits & Further Information

The excellent training, the warm personality, the friendliness, and the wanderlust found in many Emergency Medicine Doctors in South Africa is a perfect match with the vacancies in the Irish Health Service. If you are an Emergency Medicine Doctor and are interested in relocating to Ireland, we would be happy to speak with you and give you the benefit of our knowledge and experience. Ireland is calling… are you ready?


Contact us at to start your journey.

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