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Problems recruiting consultants? 'Let's deal with it'

The IMO said this evening that there has been nothing but “disincentives and obstacles” put in the way of highly skilled doctors.

Image: Consultants via Shutterstock

HEALTH MINISTER JAMES Reilly announced today that existing consultants who move positions within the health service won’t get a pay cut – but the IMO is not happy at how long it took him to decide this.

In a statement this evening, the Irish Medical Organisation said that that it welcomes confirmation from the Department of Health that consultants moving from one post to another within the health service will not be subject to the 30 per cent pay cut that was introduced in 2012.

However, it added:

We have serious concerns at the length of time it has taken for the Minister to realise the error of his decision in September 2012 to announce a unilateral pay cut of 30 per cent for new entrant consultants.

It described this as an “ill thought-out decision”, suggesting that instead of saving the Government money, it has led to fewer consultant posts being filled, along with a corresponding reduction in services to patients.

“To date the Minister has not been able to implement these proposals for that group of consultants who move from one post to another and he knows it,” stated the IMO.

Anthony Owens, Assistant Director of Industrial Relations, IMO, said if there is not to be a further deterioration in services, “the Minister must act now”.

We have done nothing but create disincentives and obstacles to highly skilled doctors who might otherwise choose to work in the Irish health system.

The organisation also said that Reilly “is fully aware” that under the Haddington Road Agreement there is a mechanism to deal with the issue, through negotiation with the IMO.

There is no excuse for further delay, there is a problem, that problem is acknowledged, now let’s deal with it.

In October, the president of the Irish Hospital Consultants’ Association suggested that the HSE is “being driven by Troika demands and budgetary constraints, not by patient welfare and safety”.

He said that recruitment is the key to improving things in the health service.

Read: James Reilly: New consultants will have to face a hefty pay cut>

Read: Doctors call for appointment of 500 new GPs to address ‘manpower crisis’>

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