Updated at 11.15pm
THE THREAT OF a strike by junior doctors is looking increasingly likely this evening after doctors’ union the IMO issued a statement saying industrial action seems “inevitable”.
The two sides in the dispute met yesterday at the Labour Relations Commission to continue efforts to end the row over working hours for non-consultant hospital doctors.
The IMO had been seeking clarification on a number of proposals, and the HSE was due to report back today with an update on its latest stance.
But following that submission, the union says there has been a “continued lack of clarity,” and is accusing the health service of an “unwillingness to fully commit to NCHD concerns”.
Assistant Industrial Relations Director at the IMO Eric Young said: “The failure of the HSE to fully realise the seriousness of this situation and their lack of real engagement on the very real concerns of doctors is disappointing”.
“The IMO for its part has fully participated in the LRC process but must act in the best interests of patients and doctors.”
The union is demanding an end to shifts for NCHDs running in excess of 24 hours. They also want the HSE to bring in a plan aimed at achieving compliance with an EU directive on working hours.
The strike had initially been scheduled for Wednesday of this week, but was postponed and then suspended indefinitely by the IMO as efforts to solve the row continued.
Speaking yesterday, Health Minister James Reilly said he was keen to resolve the issue, noting he wanted to see Irish doctors have a life, a career and a hobby.
Originally posted at 6.11pm