Tralee is seeking surgeons

Bon Secours Hospital manager Donna Roche in Tralee

By David Hennessy

Bon Secours Hospital, Tralee is recruiting surgeons, and specifically looking to Britain and further afield in order to get to make sure they receive the highest possible level of applicants.

Hospital Manager Donna Roche told The Irish World: “We’re targeting the UK, America and Australia, that’s where most of our emigrant doctors would go. They get the basics here and then they emigrate to get either a fellowship or further experience and we’re just trying to cast the net as wide as we can.

“It’s very difficult to target them. If you’re looking for expats, the one thing we would find is often it’s their mothers that look for the jobs: The mother’s at home and she knows her John is out in Texas doing a fellowship.”

However it is not just the Irish abroad that the hospital want their message to reach: “We don’t want to just restrict it to that. We’re interested in anyone that has the criteria that we want, has the experience and wants to come live in Ireland. It might be someone who has ten years to go [to retirement] and says: ‘Do you know what? I’m going to go spend my last ten years in Ireland golfing, fishing, working’. We do have a nice balance of life in Kerry so it might suit someone like that.

Bon Secours Hospital, Tralee is a completely private hospital. A not for profit organisation, all the money it generates goes back into the hospital. While HSE has a cap on private sector pay, it must abide by, Bon Secours has no restrictions on what it can offer: “With the HSE, they are restricted on what they can offer as a salary but that has actually caused more people to emigrate because they feel they’ve done their 10-15 years to get them to this level where they are consultant criteria and are eligible for specialist registers and they are being offered jobs where they have to work with someone making three times what they are making and the salary is fixed at a point where they may have earned that salary five years ago as a senior health officer so they won’t see  any future in it so they’re emigrating.

“With us, it’s a different thing. We have the flexibility to be able to offer different terms and conditions. We’re not tied to that contract at all.”

“The advertising only started on Monday and we’ve already had a lot of enquiries. We do arrange informal visits without any commitment: We can do tours of the hospital, we take them round, get them to meet some of the other consultants. We know it’s a big commitment. It’s more than someone just taking a job. You have to be sure of what you’re getting into.”

The deadline for receipt of applications for the Consultant General Surgeon positions is Friday 20th January 2014.

Full details are available from or for a personal appointment with the Hospital Manager, Donna Roche, call +353-66-7149800 or email


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