Further to our previous communication the IMO have now held a preliminary meeting with met with the HSE to discuss the issue of the Primary Care Eye Services Report and its implications for our members. We outlined our position that the current contract does not encompass the range of duties envisaged by the report and that there would be no co-operation with it pending discussion/agreement on an appropriate contract.
The HSE acknowledged that there are Industrial Relations issues arising from the report to be addressed and has committed to engaging with the IMO in a timely fashion to do so. A commitment has also been given by the HSE that there will be no implementation of the report pending agreement with the IMO on an appropriate contract. The IMO have agreed that additional nursing support and equipment can proceed.
In addition to the above we also highlighted that there are significant issues with recruitment/retention of Community Ophthalmic Physicians and to a large degree this is related to the working conditions and pay associated with the grade which the IMO have long argued need to be addressed. The extent of the funding that will be available for the implementation of the report is unclear at this juncture.
A further meeting will be scheduled next month and I will update all as appropriate at that point. I would again suggest that you share this email with all your colleagues who are not members of the IMO and encourage them to join as our ability to achieve an improved contract through this process will be dependent upon maintaining/building our membership of COP’s.
If there are any queries in the interim please do not hesitate to contact me.
Senior Industrial Relations Officer,
Irish Medical Organisation