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Dublin: 16 °C Wednesday 12 August, 2020
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Junior doctors warn Health Minister they will emigrate

Over 800 junior doctors have warned James Reilly that the agenda to portray the medical profession as though it is driven by greed is creating “deep unease”.

Image: Sam Boal/Photocall Ireland

OVER 800 JUNIOR doctors have written to the Health Minister James Reilly to warn that they may be forced to emigrate for work if an agenda that seeks to “portray the medical profession as though they are driven by greed” continues.

The non-consultant hospital doctors (NCHD) have supported a ‘write-in’ campaign that is organised by the Irish Medical Organisation (IMO) in which symbolic plane boarding passes were signed to indicate they are considering abroad for work.

There have been tensions between consultants and the Health Service Executive in recent months over talks surrounding new contracts which would change working hours and practices as Reilly looks to make savings in the sector.

“We are approaching a crossroads for the NCHD grade in the Irish healthcare services,” Dr Mark Murphy, chair of the NCHD committee of the IMO said.

“There is deep unease amongst my colleagues that medicine is becoming a tainted profession and that there is an agenda to portray the medical profession as though they are driven by greed.”

The president of the IMO Dr Paul McKeown said that the Minister had been implementing policies which were leading to the export of “our brightest and best”.

He said that the health service would suffer in the coming years as a result with the number of those supporting the campaign representing a “deep well of disquiet and apprehension” amongst junior doctors.

“NCHDs are the source of our specialist physicians and surgeons in Ireland,” he said.

“These doctors have been educated and trained here yet more and more are now planning not just to spend a few years abroad but to permanently relocate overseas. That is disastrous for this country.”

Read: Nurse staffing levels “critical”, says INMO

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Hugh O'Connell

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