As we move through the various stages of the pandemic, from preparation to response and to reopening, it is worth reminding ourselves of some of the changes in policy that have been instituted during the pandemic period.
Historic Rest Days
As you may remember, arising from a Labour Court Ruling, the deadline by which Consultants were required to avail of their Historic Rest Day entitlement was set at 31st December 2020. However, in the context of the pandemic, this deadline has been pushed back to 31st December 2021. This decision, taken after IMO inquiries, was designed to ensure that the health service would not lose experienced clinicians at the least opportune time.
Also against the backdrop of the pandemic, it was agreed by HSE – NDTP, again after IMO inquires, that, on a once off basis, the Consultant CME Allowance would be allowed to ‘roll over’ into 2021, with the intention that the unspent 2020 element would be used by the end of 2021.
We would encourage all Consultant members to bear these amendments in mind and ensure that, where relevant, they are in a position to avail of these.
As you will no doubt know, the health service is moving into the ‘re-opening’ phase. The key issue that will face the service prospectively is the requirement to deliver care with very much reduced capacity; those reductions being made on already insufficient physical and human resource capacity.
The IMO has appeared before Oireachtas COVID Response Committee on two separate occasions and argued that there can be no return to a ‘business as usual’ that was not good for Consultants, and not good for patients. You can, and we would encourage you to, read a copy of our submission to the Committee on this matter here.
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