IRISH doctors are among the highest paid in the world, according to a new study.
Data released by the OECD shows that hospital consultants in Ireland earned €164,494 on average in 2014.
The figure, which does not include private income, is down from €173,646 the previous year.
Ireland boasts one of the highest figures internationally, and ranks just behind Australia and Luxembourg.
The Irish Hospital Consultants Association suggests that the OECD data contains inconsistencies.
It says salary figures for some countries are gross, while others are net.
In addition, supplements paid to consultants in Britain are not included, and the pay in certain countries in incomparable to the system in Ireland.
Meanwhile, figures released on Tuesday by the EU's statistical office Eurostat, shows that Ireland spends less than half the EU average on caring for the elderly.
The Irish Government spent just 10 per cent of its social protection budget on the elderly in 2013, almost 12 per cent less than the EU average.
The study ranks Ireland second last in the EU in regards to spending in areas relating to pensions and bereavement supports, with only Iceland finishing lower with 5.6 per cent.
Ireland’s total social protection spend came close to the European average, however, accounting for 38.6 per cent of total expenditure.