As 300 Consultant posts remain empty and waiting lists grow, IMO asks if the Department of Public Expenditure is really running Health
Warning of catastrophic impact on waiting lists if recruitment of Consultants not facilitated
Thursday 7th May 2015. The Irish Medical Organisation has accused the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform (DPER) of undermining agreements designed to facilitate the urgent recruitment of Consultants for some of the 300 or more Hospital Consultant posts which remain empty across the country.
IMO Director of Industrial Relations, Steve Tweed, said that interference by the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform was undermining the implementation of an agreement reached in January to allow the appointment of Consultants at salary levels determined by their qualifications and experience as agreed by a special Incremental Credit Committee. However Tweed says that instead of using this agreement to attract high calibre Consultants into public hospital posts, health service management have allowed DPER to direct the government appointed non-medical members of the Committee to block progress.
“The agreement was put in place because it was recognised that we were facing a recruitment crisis due to the arbitrary pay policy introduced by Government. However now that we have the agreement, the game has shifted to preventing its implementation meaning that Consultants posts remain empty and our home grown Consultants continue to leave to work in health systems abroad and those currently abroad are not returning home.”
Tweed said the failure to recruit Consultants was directly leading to longer and longer waiting lists; “we need more Consultants to care for more patients. We are failing to recruit Consultants so our waiting lists are growing. It’s as simple as that.”
Tweed warns that individual patients could suffer health consequences as a result of this failure; “patients left on waiting lists for months and years may suffer additional health consequences as a result of delays in receiving treatment.”