NCHD Pay Allowances and Pensions
Irish Medical Organisation

A full list of your entitlements and frequently asked questions regarding pay, allowances and pensions can be found here

NCHD salary scales update 17/07/14

As you may be aware the HSE have issued circular 9/2014 with regard to NCHD pay scales, a copy of which can be viewed here. This has not been agreed with the IMO. At the moment those most affected by this circular will be trainees in Anaesthetics and Radiology.

As Radiology has no BST this would potentially mean that someone starting on the HST dependant on their experience may start on a salary scale point of Registrar 1 rather than SpR 1. With regard to anaesthetics, the new run through scheme has been in place since 2012. This scale potentially delays your assimilation to the SpR salary scale, dependant on your experience to date.

We have written to the HSE on even date, a copy of which can be viewed here. We consider the issuance of this circular to be a unilateral attempt to change NCHD terms and conditions and we will be taking all appropriate actions under the Haddington Road Agreement and other fora if necessary to address this issue.

We will be updating all members as this matter progresses but in the meantime if you have any queries please do not hesitate to contact us here at IMO House.

HSE Circular Re:Salary scales NCHD

Letter to Andrew Condon Re:Salary scales

 

NCHD Pension/Career Break 11/07/14

Please click below for important information for any doctor who is leaving employment in the public health system for more than 26 weeks and was employed in the system on 1 January 2013. You must apply for the enclosed career break scheme immediately BEFORE 14 July 2014 to protect your pension benefits.

Please pass this on to any members who you think this may apply to.

Information issued to NCHD members - 10th July 2014

NCHD Contract, FAQ and Salary Scales

Night Rate for NCHDs 08/05/14

The IMO argued at the Labour Court that NCHDs who work a” week of nights” i.e. 8pm to 8/9am without any corresponding day duties in the week should be paid a premium night duty rate for such hours.

The IMO claim succeeded when the Labour Court recommended NCHDs should receive a night duty rate at time and a quarter when working such work patterns the same as other health sector workers. The HSE has issued a circular to the Medical Manpower Managers setting out how this should be paid. The letter can be seen here. The night rate applies for any doctor working from 5pm and 3 hours past midnight. If you are not being paid this rate please contact IMO.

Haddington Road pay scale consolidation 08/04/14

Please click here for the new consolidated pay scales which have arisen from the Haddington Road Agreement (HRA). As you know the IMO was to the forefront in campaigning for the rejection of the Croke Park 2 proposals. The subsequent rejection by our members and other unions of the Croke Park 2 proposals led directly to the Haddington Road Agreement as part of which there was an agreement to consolidate the pre January 2011 pay scales with the post January 2011 pay scales.

For NCHDs, the January 2011 10% pay cut only applied to Interns. The IMO was previously successful in limiting the new entrant criteria so that an NCHD did not carry the 10% pay cut across grades. Once an intern became an SHO, the SHO pay scale remained the same as it was pre January 2011. The registrar and Specialist Registrar pay scales were not reduced in January 2011 and remained unchanged.

As a result of the Haddington Road Agreement the intern salary will now be increased from €30,257 to €31,938 per annum. This will be backdated to 1 November 2013 so there will be a backdated payroll adjustment for Interns.

NCHDs who are working night duty should also be aware of the IMO’s recent Labour Court case which resulted in the awarding of a premium payment for those NCHDs who are working night patterns. Please see below Circular.

For Consultants, the main changes will be for Consultants appointed under 2008 contract up to 30 September 2012 (interviewed prior to 1 October 2012). This is those consultants who were appointed post 1 January 2011 and pre 30 September 2012. You will now have a six point salary scale with the 6th point of that scale equalling the 4th point of the pre January 2011 pay scales. For example, for those on Type A contracts the previous maximum salary of €161,151 will be increased to €178,593.

The post October 2012 consultants - who have suffered the most severe reduction - are not yet consolidated under this process. The IMO is engaged in a parallel negotiating process with Health Service Management and we expect to be able to address the October 2012 reduction in a similar fashion to the January 2011 reduction. Health Service Management cannot continue to ignore the devastating effect the reduction has had on the ability to retain and attract doctors into the Irish health service.

Latest figures show some 253 consultant vacancies have been identified by HSE hospitals, some of these are being filled on a locum basis. This figure does not include consultant vacancies for voluntary hospitals. There are a further 136 registrar posts unfilled and it is clear that the inability to recruit at registrar and consultant level is being severely affected by the October 2012 cut. Once same is published we expect.

If you any queries in relation to the foregoing please do not hesitate to contact us here at IMO House

Circular 003-2014

Haddington Road Update

There appears to be confusion around some aspects of the Haddington Road proposals which are currently the subject of a ballot. This update seeks to clarify matters for members.

Two Tier Workforce

Ever since the unilateral imposition by the Government of the 30% salary reduction for new entrant Consultants the IMO has been lobbying against the introduction of a two tier workforce. We ensured that this matter was an absolute priority for us in the negotiations with Government. It was the IMO and not the Government or the HSE who raised this matter.

Consequently, as part of the Haddington Road proposals the IMO had successfully achieved agreement that the two tier Consultant workforce would be addressed. Negotiations on this are now scheduled to commence on Monday 24 June 2013.

The negotiations will also review and develop the career and training pathways from Intern to Consultant/Specialist level. The overall objective is the retention of graduates within the public health system and the attraction back to Ireland of such graduates - where they have left previously.

Essentially the focus of the negotiations will be on agreeing a single pay scale for all Consultants, and ensuring doctors returning to the Irish Health service and locum/temporary Consultants taking up permanent posts are not defined as ‘new entrants’.

This commitment to negotiate is a significant improvement over the Croke Park 2 proposals which did nothing to address these issues. However - it should be noted - as the negotiations form an integral part of the Haddington Road proposals a rejection of the proposals in the current ballot will place the ability to address the two tier workforce, career pathways and the definition of ‘new entrant’ in jeopardy.

EWTD

The whole issue surrounding working time for NCHDs has long been a matter on which the IMO has focussed.

The IMO worked hard during the negotiations to ensure EWTD compliance was not linked to Haddington Road. The campaign is still a major commitment for the IMO and the NCHD Committee. The fact that the CP2 and Haddington Road negotiations came along in the meantime does not detract from this commitment.

Voting to reject Haddington Road on the false belief that this will address the working conditions of doctors will only result in a ballot for industrial action of all IMO members on the issue of pay. Since we cannot fight two disputes at the one time the issue of EWTD would inevitably be put to the back burner.

That was never the intention of the enoughisenough campaign; the focus should remain on working conditions and for NCHD members to mobilise around this core issue.

PAY

As you will be aware, if the Haddington Road proposals are rejected the Government has introduced legislation to impose pay cuts. This legislation, amongst other measures, will have the effect of:

 
1) Reducing new entrant Consultant pay by a further 8%; and
 

2) Giving power to the Minister for Health to reduce other terms and conditions beyond that set out in the proposals e.g. Mon-Fri overtime to flat rate as per original Government proposals, Sunday overtime to 1.5, increase the working week by 5 hours, etc

The IMO Council giving due consideration to all the facts recommended a YES vote.

REMINDER – BALLOT CLOSES WEDNESDAY 26 JUNE

What the Haddington Road agreement means for NCHDs 07/06/13

As you may be aware the IMO Council met Wednesday 5th June to decide a recommendation on the Haddington Road proposals having initially deferred the decision on same for a period of two weeks. The Council has now agreed to recommend acceptance of the deal to members. The press statement is HERE for your attention. We will be balloting all members next week on the proposals.

It is important that NCHDs are clear that there is nothing in the agreement that prevents us taking action on foot of failure by the HSE to meet the June 1st deadline for maximum 24 hour on call. In fact the HSE national standards and staged implementation are specifically mentioned in the agreement. The failure to meet these standards and deadlines is actionable even if the agreement is accepted. EWTD is a primary concern for the NCHD committee who will consider what action to be taken separately to the agreement. The IMO’s lead negotiator, Director of Industrial Relations, Steve Tweed has confirmed that this is the case and that nothing in the agreement will override the contractual and legislative entitlements with regard to working hours. The Haddington Road proposals and the campaign on EWTD compliance are clearly two separate sets of negotiations.

24 hour call is not the same as full EWTD compliance (the date for which is end of 2014) but is one of the interim deadlines for staged compliance and the date for implementation of same was set as the 1st June. The NCHD committee, comprised of your peers and colleagues, are currently meeting to decide upon the strategy and date with regard to potentially balloting NCHDs for Industrial Action on foot of the continued failure of the HSE to meet its own set deadlines.

The table below sets out the main differences for NCHDs between the original proposals (Croke Park II) and the latest proposals (Haddington Road).

Croke Park II Proposals

•NCHDs move from a 39 hour basic working week to a 42 hour basic working week

• Hourly rate for calculation of overtime is adjusted accordingly (i.e. divided by 42 not 39)

•Reduction of Sunday/Bank Holiday premium to 1.5.

•Cut in Overtime Rate from 1.5 to 1.25 for those on basic salary over €35,000

•Two 18 month increments (rather than 12 month)
 
Haddington Road proposals
•NCHDs remain on 39 hour basic working week
•Hourly rate remains unchanged divided by 39
•Sunday/Bank Holiday Premium remains unchanged at x2

•Overtime rate cut from 1.5 to 1.25 for those on basic salary over €35,000

•Two 15 month increments (To be restored not later than 18 months after expiry of new deal)

Please click here for the actual proposals themselves for your attention. The first paragraph under the heading pay measures reads as follows:

“The following pay measures will apply, in addition to any central measures in relation to higher pay and increments:”

 

What this means is that across the public service there will be measures in relation to higher pay (above €65,000) and also increments. These are not written into each sectoral agreement as they will apply to all. They are contained in the overall agreement (copy attached). Furthermore primary legislation is needed in order to change a public servants salary and this will be enacted as per the attached legislation. The cuts to basic pay will be for those over €65,000 basic salary and will be as set out below:

Reduction in Remuneration of Public Servants Earning More Than €65,000

 Annualised amount of Reduction Remuneration

 Up to €80,000 - 5.5 per cent

 Any amount over €80,000 but not over €150,000 - 8 per cent

 Any amount over €150,000 but not over €185,000 - 9 per cent

 Any amount over €185,000 - 10 per cent

Appendix 7 (page 37) of the attached agreement sets out the specific proposals in relation to the Health Sector.

I trust this information will be of some use in helping clarify the situation and in helping people come to a decision in the upcoming ballot. If you have any queries in relation to the above please do not hesitate to contact us at IMO house.

 

Haddington Road Proposals and FEMPI Legislation 05/06/13

The Haddington Road proposals will be subject to a ballot of IMO members commencing Monday 10 June and closing on Wednesday 26 June. The proposals, along with the relevant legislation, are available here. A summary will be circulated with ballot papers.

Haddington Road agreement May 2013

FEMPI public sector pay cuts May 2013

 

NCHD UPDATE- Consultant pay cut 16/01/13

Update 16th January 2013

As NCHDs will be aware from previous emails, during the discussion on changes to Consultant work practices in the LRC the term ‘Support for the introduction of a new Consultant grade’ was included in the HSE proposals. As there were no details on what this would look like the IMO argued that this should be changed to reflect the commitment already provided to the Minister for Health, i.e. agreement to enter into negotiations, with a view to reaching agreement, on proposal to introduce a new Consultant grade. During the talks this disappeared from the proposals and was replaced by an intention to “substantially reduce the salary” for new Consultants.

This is unacceptable and not within the scope of the PSA. The HSE removed the reference but stated that it was the intention to introduce the change. After the talks concluded the Minister made the announcement on Monday 17th September 2012 that it would amount to a 30% reduction. An emergency National NCHD meeting was held on 24th September 2012 to outline the IMO’s strategy for dealing with the issue under the following headings:

•Engagement with other Trade Unions
•Industrial Action
•Legal Avenues
•Media Campaign
•Political lobbying

Work has been ongoing under all of these headings over the last number of months including much correspondence between the IMO, HSE and the Department of Health. Please click here for the IMO letter to the HSE dated 18th December 2012 outlining the formal position of the IMO in relation to the Consultant pay cut announced on 17th September 2012 and the subsequent announcement of its application in certain circumstances to existing consultants on 4th December 2012. The IMO has received confirmation that the requested tri-partite meeting between the IMO, HSE and Department of Health will be held early in the New Year. NCHDs can read about the media campaign below.

Background

Further to last week’s correspondence and the IMO National meeting of NCHDs held this week the IMO wishes to update NCHDs with regard to the new Consultant pay cut issue. As discussed in detail at the meeting, the IMO strategy for fighting the cut is multifaceted (to include contact with Department of Health, political lobbying and media campaign, liaison with other unions and exploring both legal and industrial action options) and is based on cohesive action by the Consultant and NCHD Committee. To this end NCHDs should note that the IMO Consultant Committee met on Wednesday 26th September 2012 to discuss the LRC proposal on Consultant Work Practices and also the unilateral announcement by the Minister for Health to reduce the salary of new Consultants by 30%.

Consultant Work Practices – the proposals did not cover two issues which had been referred to the Labour Court for binding arbitration; future rest days and the second opinion payment in the Mental Health service. As all matters (the LRC proposal and the Labour Court decisions) will form the complete proposal for IMO Consultant members to consider the Committee agreed that it would be prudent to wait for the Labour Court decision. This will allow the entire package to be considered and for members to vote on this in a consultative ballot. The Labour Court has confirmed that a referral of the issues has been received and will communicate the date of the hearing shortly.

NCHD Salary Reduction – the Committee criticised the announcement of the 30% salary reduction for new Consultants. This decision did not form any part of the talks at the LRC and was made by the Minister after the conclusion of the LRC process. The Committee believes that an attempt to link the LRC process and this unilateral announcement has the potential to undermine the proposed flexibility set out in the LRC document.

The Committee rejects the assertion made by the Minister that the salary reduction will not impact on the recruitment of new Consultants. The Committee also believes that it is a breach of the Public Service Agreement as it impacts directly on the salary expectation of existing employees. The reduction will drive more doctors to pursue their careers overseas and have a serious impact on the ability of the HSE to continue with the introduction of the Clinical Programmes.

The IMO Consultant Committee supports the IMO NCHD Committee in its opposition to the proposed imposition of the salary reduction and will offer any assistance it can in the campaign to have the decision reversed.

Consultants have already made significant savings through the introduction of flexibility in the workplace – which is recognised by the Minister. This flexibility will also be provided by new Consultants, but with 30-40% less salary than their colleagues working alongside them. This runs counter to the commitment given by the Minister prior to the LRC talks. The savings on salary are but a fraction of those gained by flexible working. The IMO is seeking an urgent meeting with the Minister for Health on this issue.

The IMO is currently finalising a lobbying campaign which all NCHDs will be given the opportunity to participate in, details to follow next week.

Confirmation of new consultant salary scales 28/09/12

For your information please see below circulars just received setting out new pay arrangements for new entrant Consultants (please note you will require your IMO log in details to view these documents). The application of the new salary scales is as follows:

•Doctors who have been offered Consultant contracts at the 2011 rates are not affected

•Doctors who have been successful at interview and are awaiting PAS and/or HSE clearance are not affected

•Any posts that are to be filled from interviews that have not yet taken place will be subject to the new scales

The IMO is seeking an urgent meeting with Minister Reilly.
 

Clarification RE:30% consultant salary cut 18/09/12

The IMO wishes to further clarify the origins of the 30% pay cut for new Consultant posts as follows:

•There was absolutely no discussion of the 30% pay cut whatsoever with the IMO

•The IMO did not, and would not, agree to this reduction in pay for doctors

•The IMO only learned of the 30% figure in the media reports yesterday morning, after the conclusion of the talks

•The IMO is entirely opposed to the salary cut and will take all possible steps to fight this unilateral decision

•The IMO has consistently maintained that the proposed new Consultant grade is outside the scope of the Public Services Agreement (PSA - Croke Park Agreement) and should therefore not form part of the discussions on Consultant work practices

• The IMO was successful in having this issue removed from the agenda for last weekend’s LRC talks on Consultant Work Practice

• In the middle of the weekend of the HSE changed its approach and stated that the existing Type A Contract would now have a substantially reduced salary for newly appointed Consultants

•The IMO argued that this was an unacceptable change and was still outside the PSA

•The HSE eventually agreed to remove it from the proposals but made it clear that they would pursue the issue as outlined in the covering letter of the LRC agreement as follows:

“The Commission notes that, separate to the terms of the attached proposal, the HSE has made it clear that it will proceed with new pay arrangements in the context of offers of consultant employment made into the future for new consultant appointments. In this context the HSE has made it clear such offers of employment will be on contracts consistent with the 2008 contract, save for the rates of pay associated with the role”

•The Commission noted that the IMO did not agree with this decision

•The IMO is currently seeking clarification from the HSE as to the precise details of the cut e.g. to which contracts it applies, the effect on newly appointed Consultants who have yet to receive their contracts etc and the IMO will communicate with our members immediately on receipt of any information

•As part of the IMO strategy to oppose this unilateral decision a National meeting of Specialist Registrars will be held early next week, details to follow.

GP TRAINEES: Important update on allowances 14/09/12

Update 14.9.2012

Unfortunately the planned discussion of public sector allowances that was on the agenda for this week’s Cabinet meeting has been put back to next week. The IMO shares GP Trainees frustration in the delay in achieving a satisfactory resolution to this matter but, as previously advised, the IMO is aware through informed sources that a favourable decision on the allowance is likely and a further extension of the timelines of serving notice therefore continues to be the best strategy at this stage.

The IMO will continue to keep this matter under constant review and will advise GP Trainees as soon as we have any further information.

Background:

Further to our recent correspondence it is now clear that the GP Registrar Out of Hours Payment of €11,428 will not be paid to 3rd year GP Registrars due to the ongoing review of public sector allowances by the Department of Public Expenditure. As you are aware all allowances are suspended from 31 January 2012 for “new beneficiaries”. The review was originally to be completed by the Department in April. A letter was sent on Monday 9th July to Minister Howlin and Minister Reilly seeking an urgent meeting and informing them of the decision to ballot IMO members should the allowance not be reinstated and we are now proceeding on this basis.

In accordance with the Industrial Relations Act 1990 this will be a secret ballot with each member receiving a numbered anonymous ballot paper asking them to indicate whether they are in favour of or against Industrial Action.

In order to comply with the relevant legislation the ballot must be issued through the post so please make sure that the address we have for you on our database is correct. You can do this by going to the my account section on the IMO website www.imo.ie and updating your address if necessary. Alternatively you can telephone our membership unit and they will update your details. We will give ten working days for the ballot to completed and returned to IMO House. Once the ballot is completed and the result known we will have to give a minimum of seven days’ notice of our intention to take Industrial Action.

Section 11 of the 1990 Act provides that only those employees who are members of an authorised trade union are entitled to picket their employer and avail of immunity from prosecution. Non-union members are not entitled to the immunity laid down in Section 11. It is for this reason that non-members cannot participate in any Industrial Action.

All GP Registrars should continue to work their Out of Hours rosters until such time as the ballot is passed and instruction issued to withdraw cooperation. Failure to do so before the ballot has been passed and 7 days’ notice given to the employer (HSE) could leave you open to disciplinary action.

The ballot will be of all GP trainees including first and second years. The precise form of Industrial Action will be decided by the IMO council but will most likely initially be a withdrawal from the Out of Hours Service by third and fourth year GP Registrars. It is important that we manage any action well from both a strategic and public relations perspective. Withdrawing from the Out of Hours service is a proportionate initial response to not being paid the Out of Hours Allowance.

We will continue to seek a resolution to the current situation pending the outcome of the ballot for Industrial Action, however it is important that we now go ahead with the ballot in order to have a mandate to take whatever action necessary to protect and preserve your contractual entitlement.

The IMO as your representative organisation does not take the decision to ballot its’ membership for Industrial Action lightly. However, given the current situation and in the absence of any communication from the Department we would recommend that all members vote in favour of the ballot for Industrial Action.

The ballot will issue on Monday 23rd July. They will be sent to the correspondence address on your file in IMO house. All ballot papers will need to be returned to IMO House no later than Tuesday 7th August (Monday 6th being a public holiday). In the event that the ballot is passed we are then required to give seven days’ notice of Industrial Action as prescribed by statute and will begin withdrawing cooperation from the Out of Hours Service on Wednesday 15th August.

Obviously for any action to be effective it is important that we have as high a participation level as possible. As non-members are legally precluded from participating in any industrial action it is vitally important that as many GP trainees as possible join before the ballot is issued. Given the importance of this particular situation GP trainees may join today and not make a payment until September 27th.

We will be in touch further as developments arise and we may need to set up a national meeting for GP trainees in the coming weeks. In the meantime please do not hesitate to contact IMO head office should you have any queries in relation to the above.

VHI Registration NCHDs 16/03/12

 Q&As
How to register as a provider with VHI Healthcare
 
QWhy do I need to register with VHI Healthcare?

A: Only doctors registered on VHI Healthcare’s Doctor File can receive professional fee benefits for claims submitted in respect of services rendered to insured patients. VHI Healthcare has a duty to its members to ensure that all doctors registered on the VHI Doctor File are duly accredited and validated before benefits are paid to them for services rendered.

QWhat are the benefits of registering with VHI Healthcare?

A: Once a Locum Consultant or a Consultant (hereafter referred to as a Consultant) is registered on VHI Healthcare’s Doctor File they are assigned a Vhi Doctor Code number which is their unique reference number. This number should be included on the Consultant’s invoices. He/she may commence treating VHI insured patients in the hospitals to which they are attached and submitting their invoices through the hospital direct payment system.

Only Consultants registered with VHI Healthcare receive a copy of the Schedule of Benefits for Professional Fees, the document which details the professional fee benefits available from VHI Healthcare. This document is updated regularly as new procedures are approved for benefits by VHI Healthcare and older, obsolete procedures are deleted. Updates to the Schedule are issued to Consultants in the relevant speciality. Consultants registered with VHI Healthcare have direct access to VHI’s Medical Relations Department, which is responsible for provider affairs and to the Provider Support unit of VHI’s Claims Division, which is responsible for claims queries.

Consultants registered with VHI Healthcare are paid directly to their bank account on a certain date each month with the value of properly collated invoices which have been assessed to be eligible for payment by the VHI’s Claims Division.

Q: When should I arrange to register with VHI Healthcare?

A: Consultants are advised to contact VHI Healthcare immediately upon being appointed to a post that enables them to engage in private practice. Only Consultants registered with VHI Healthcare can received professional fee benefits for claims assessed. It is essential therefore that a newly appointed Consultant contacts VHI Healthcare and gets registered on the VHI Doctor File before they commence treating insured patients. Otherwise, it may not be possible for VHI Healthcare to retrospectively pay professional fee benefits to a doctor for services rendered to VHI insured patients.

Q: How do I get registered on the VHI Doctor File?

A: To make a request you can contact VHI Healthcare by telephone on LoCall 1890 44 44 44 or you can contact the Medical Relations Department directly by email at medical.relations@vhi.ie. You are advised to contact VHI Healthcare as soon as you have been appointed as the process of registration may take 2 weeks depending upon your situation and your documentation.

Q: What information do I need when I contact VHI Healthcare?

 A: The following information will be requested from you when you contact VHI Healthcare with a request to be registered on the VHI Doctor File:
• Full name;
• Correspondence Address and Hospital or Practice address;
• Contact number and email address;

• Details of your registration with the Medical Council of Ireland, including your registration number

• Details of your specialty and your current hospital post (Locum/Permanent/Temporary)

• Contract Type if employed under the HSE (Type A, B, B* or C)

Q: Do I have to fill in any forms or provide any documentation?

A: Yes you do. Within ten days of making your request you will receive a VHI Doctor Registration Pack which will include:

•Doctor registration form;
•An Agreement Form for the Full Cover Scheme;
•Direct Payment mandate.

•The forms must be completed and returned to Vhi Healthcare together with:

1. A copy of your current CV;

2. A copy of the HSE letter of approval for your post if working in a public hospital

3. A letter confirming your rights to private practice privileges for any private hospital that you intend to work in

4. Copy of the following sections from your Consultants Contract 2008 if applicable:

5. Section 2 – appointment and tenure (page 6);
6. Section 5 – contract designation (page 8);
7. The signed section confirming acceptance of the contract.

8. Copy of your Specialist Registration Certificate from the Medical Council.

9. Copy of passport/driving licence, showing a photograph and signature

Q: Why does VHI Healthcare need these details?

A: VHI Healthcare has a duty to its insured members to ensure that all Consultants and Locum Consultants registered on the VHI Doctor File are checked and validated as being specialists duly registered with the Medical Council of Ireland and having their details properly listed in the appropriate Division of the specialist register maintained by the Medical Council. In addition, VHI Healthcare needs to check that all Consultants and Locum Consultants registered on the VHI Doctor File hold or have held a public hospital Consultant post in this jurisdiction and/or that they meet VHI Healthcare’s definition of a Consultant. A registration pack will not be issued to a doctor who is not included on the specialist register maintained by the Medical Council of Ireland.

Q: Are there are particular issues that a Locum or Temporary Consultant appointee needs to be aware of?

A: Yes there are. The Locum or Temporary Consultant needs to ensure that the post that they are about to fill has been approved by the HSE and, in the case of a Locum, that they are sure that the post was formerly held by a Consultant registered with VHI Healthcare. If the Locum or Temporary Consultant post exceeds a period of three months then the extension of that post beyond three months must be supported by documentation that shows the extension of the appointment has been approved by the appropriate HSE body.

How to inform VHI Healthcare about new procedures or treatments

 

Q: What is the procedure for the inclusion of new procedures or treatments in the Schedule of Benefits for Professional Fees?

A: There are various ways through which a Consultant can make a request for the inclusion of a new surgical procedure or medical therapy to VHI Healthcare.

The request can be made through the Consultant’s specialty or faculty group or through his/her medical representative organisation. Alternatively the Consultant can contact VHI Healthcare by telephone on LoCall 1890 44 44 44 or by surface mail or by e-mailing the Medical Relations Department directly at medical.relations@vhi.ie.

A Consultant should always contact Vhi Healthcare in advance of performing a new operation or in advance of providing a new medical therapy so that the new service can be evaluated by VHI Healthcare. When contacting VHI the Consultant will need to provide full details of the new service in a report and this should be supported by peer-reviewed medical articles and any other appropriate documentation. These details will be review and evaluated by VHI Healthcare’s medical advisors and the Consultant will be informed as to the outcome of such a review.

Q: Are there accepted standards procedures should meet before they are considered for inclusion in the Schedule of Benefits for Professional Fees?

A: Only evidence based medicine and procedures whose safety and efficacy have been proven internationally, and that are accepted as best medical practice, will be are considered for inclusion. Procedures that are regarded as in development or that are experimental, will not be covered by VHI Healthcare.

Q: Is there a value threshold for the inclusion of procedures in the Schedule of Benefits for Professional Fees?

A: Yes, procedures where VHI Healthcare estimate the professional fee value to be lower than a consultation are not included in the Schedule of Benefits for Professional Fees.

Q: Is there a form to be completed when making a request for inclusion of a new procedure?

A: Yes, there is a new procedure evaluation form which can be obtained from the Medical Relations department of VHI Healthcare by contacting them at LoCall 1890 44 44 44 or by e-mailing them directly at medical.relations@vhi.ie.

Annual Leave/ On call allowances 12/01/12

Recent developments that affect Registrars in General Practice

Following a number of calls that were received from Members, the IMO contacted HSE – Corporate Employee Relations and had it confirmed that there has been no change in the Annual Leave entitlements of Registrars in General Practice. As you may be aware, the IMO and the HSE are involved in an ongoing process under the auspices of the Labour Relations Commission aimed at clarifying items from the 2010 Contract, and both parties have agreed that there can be no change in the commonly understood terms of the Contract until that process is completed. The Annual Leave allowance for the period from January to July, therefore, remains at sixteen days.

The IMO has also become aware that HSE Shared Services had incorrectly applied a reduction of between five and eight percent to the Registrar in General Practice on call allowance. The IMO has had it confirmed by the HSE that this reduction, which was announced in Budget 2010 by the Minister for Finance, should not have applied to this allowance. The IMO has told the HSE that any deductions of this sort must be refunded to the individuals involved. Registrars in General Practice should check with their Scheme to ascertain if they were subject to this deduction.

If you have any queries on either of these matters, do not hesitate to contact the IMO.

 

NCHD Contract Implementation 14/07/10

Background

The new National NCHD contract came into effect on 8th February 2010. This contract is based on the principles of Labour Court Recommendations 19559 and 19702, agreed Principles of Rostering and the IMO HSE High Court Settlement/Collective Agreement lodged with the High Court on Friday 22nd January 2010. The IMO has been engaging with the HSE on a number of issues regarding implementation of the contract.

Update

A meeting was held between the IMO and the HSE on 19th January 2011 at which the IMO outlined the absolute and urgent necessity to conclude all outstanding issues on the NCHD contract. In an attempt to resolve all outstanding issues the HSE has agreed to enter into discussions with the IMO under the auspices of the Conciliation Service of the LRC. The issues that have been tabled for discussion include:

• Annual Leave/Public Holiday Entitlements
• 39 Hour Core Working Week/Protected Training Time
• Proposed 2 Year NCHD Post & associated issues
• GP Travel Allowance
• Principles of Rostering & EWTD Implementation
• Training Funding & Professional Competence
• Educational Leave
• NCHD Recruitment & Retention
• Review of Loss of Earnings as per Labour Court LCR19559

Pending the outcome of these talks the HSE has agreed to reinstate NCHD annual leave/public holiday entitlements. A number of meetings both at local level and under the auspices of the LRC have been held between the IMO and the HSE and progress has been made in a number of areas outlined below. The IMO met with the HSE on the 20th May to discuss these issues and a further meeting is to be scheduled in June.

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