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No breakthrough in talks between HSE and junior doctors

The NCHDs still plan to go on strike in two weeks time.

Image: Tired Doctors via Shutterstock

Updated 22.45

THE UNION REPRESENTING up to 1,000 junior doctors in Ireland says there has been no change to planned strike action following talks with the HSE.

Discussions at the Labour Relations Commission adjourned this evening and will not reconvene until Tuesday, 17 September.

However, the Irish Medical Organisation (IMO) was not hopeful in a statement regarding its members “dangerous and illegal working hours”.

The HSE presented “no proposals for discussion” on an immediate cessation to shifts that last longer than 24 hours or a detailed plan on achieving working hours in line with a European directive by the end of next year, according to the IMO.

The organisation’s assistant director of industrial relations, Eric Young, said this evening, “It is incredible that the HSE referred the matter to the LRC, without having had negotiations with the IMO, and then attended with no proposals. This inaction by the HSE is not helpful in reaching a resolution to the dispute.”

The HSE has been given until next Tuesday to present proposals for discussions.

The IMO are due to meet with officials from the EU Commission tomorrow in relation to its investigation into the working hours of non-consultant hospital doctors.

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Junior doctors still plan to take industrial action on 25 September but have promised that the strike will not interfere with emergency services.

Doctors say that they are currently forced to work up to 100 hours a week and regularly on shifts lasting more than 24 hours at a time.  The IMO has launched a campaign demanding an end to shifts in excess of 24 hours and for a promise from the HSE to comply with the European Working Time Directive by the end of next year.

First published 18.49

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