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Dublin: 14°C Tuesday 28 September 2021

IMO warns “significant progress needed” to avert strike as officials examine doctor rosters

Teams from the junior doctors’ union and the HSE will visit hospitals today to examine rosters. The threat of strike action remains in place for next Wednesday.

Image: tired doctor via Shutterstock

TEAMS FROM THE Irish Medical Organisation and the HSE will visit two hospitals today to examine rosters for junior doctors, as efforts continue to avert a one day strike next week.

As part of the dispute, doctors are demanding an end to shifts for NCHD’s running in excess of 24 hours. They are also calling on the HSE to bring in a plan aimed at achieving compliance with an EU directive on working hours.

Following talks at the Labour Relations Commission on Tuesday, it was agreed that officials from the IMO and the HSE would visit two hospitals today as part of a pilot plan for a ‘roster verification process’.

That process will involve examining rosters in the two facilities, assessing whether NHCD’s are currently scheduled for shifts of over 24 hours, and deciding what needs to be done to bring working hours into line.

It’s hoped that once a process can be agreed to bring rosters into line with the IMO’s demands, then that system can be rolled out to all hospitals.

“There are a number of hospitals the HSE say are compliant, and the HSE is acknowledging there are a number that aren’t complaint,” Director of Industrial Relations with the IMO Steve Tweed told TheJournal.ie.

“The verification process is to check all the rosters in every hospital.”

“If there are changes to be made to make them compliant, then the rosters need to be redesigned and reconfigured and a time frame needs to be put on that.”

Tweed said that the threat of strike action remained in place for next Wednesday, and that the union needed to see “significant progress” from the HSE before it altered from that position.

He said that the verification process was “what has to be done”. It’s planned the two sides will sit down again at the LRC tomorrow to review progress.

Two facilities of different sizes, and within quick travelling distance, were agreed upon as the sites for today’s visits during Tuesday’s talks.

Read: INMO confirms nurses won’t carry out doctors’ work during 24 hour strike >

Column: Working conditions in hospitals are so bad that sometimes I get no sleep at all >

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Daragh Brophy

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