Advertisement

We need your help now

Support from readers like you keeps The Journal open.

You are visiting us because we have something you value. Independent, unbiased news that tells the truth. Advertising revenue goes some way to support our mission, but this year it has not been enough.

If you've seen value in our reporting, please contribute what you can, so we can continue to produce accurate and meaningful journalism. For everyone who needs it.

Shutterstock/Syda Productions
strike action

Public health doctors accept invitation for talks with Department of Health over ongoing dispute

In a ballot in November, 94% of IMO’s public health doctors voted in favour of strike action.

THE IRISH MEDICAL Organisation (IMO) has accepted an invitation from the Department of Health for talks to resolve an ongoing dispute over the extension of consultant status to public health. 

The dispute centres around claims from the IMO that the government has failed to allow suitably qualified public health doctors be employed as consultants. The IMO has said the situation makes it impossible to recruit suitably qualified doctors to work in public health in Ireland. 

In a ballot in November, 94% of IMO’s public health doctors voted in favour of strike action. 

Public health doctors were subsequently set to hold strike action on 14, 20 and 21 January. 

However, the IMO’s public health committee announced on 4 January that the three days of planned strike action were being deferred in the midst of the “rapid and escalating incidence of Covid-19 in Ireland”. 

The decision to defer the strikes is due to be reviewed at the end of the month. 

In a statement this evening, the IMO’s public health committee confirmed that it has accepted an invitation from the Department of Health for talks to resolve the ongoing dispute. 

“We welcome this invitation to talks but what we really need now is action,” the IMO’s public health committee chairperson Dr Ina Kelly said. 

“This issue has been discussed enough. We need resolution and the resolution must be the implementation of the repeated recommendations of various government appointed committees who all agree that consultant status must be extended to public health as is the case internationally,” Dr Kelly said. 

When the strike action was announced in November, Health Minister Stephen Donnelly said he and his department were “disappointed” with this decision.

“The Minister and the Department hope that issue of consultant status can be resolved through engagement,” the statement said.

“The creation of consultant level roles in Public Health Medicine is a priority for the Minister as public health specialists have waited for many years for consultant status.”

The Department of Health has been contacted for comment. 

Readers like you are keeping these stories free for everyone...
A mix of advertising and supporting contributions helps keep paywalls away from valuable information like this article. Over 5,000 readers like you have already stepped up and support us with a monthly payment or a once-off donation.

Your Voice
Readers Comments
1
This is YOUR comments community. Stay civil, stay constructive, stay on topic. Please familiarise yourself with our comments policy here before taking part.
Leave a Comment
    Submit a report
    Please help us understand how this comment violates our community guidelines.
    Thank you for the feedback
    Your feedback has been sent to our team for review.

    Leave a commentcancel