Irish Medical Organisation

IMO warns Government to honour public sector agreements for all public servants including consultants

“We are in the middle of the worst consultant workforce crisis in the history of the State, dangerous numbers of patients waiting for treatment and over 700 vacant consultant post.”



The Irish Medical Organisation (IMO) has warned Government that it must fully honour all the terms of the Public Services Pay and Pensions Act (2017), and the ‘Building Momentum’ national pay agreement, including the reversal of the final phase of pay cuts imposed during the period of austerity, and the restoration of normal working hours under those agreements. 


The IMO is dismayed at the latest reports that the Government is considering changing the schedule as part of a broader review of pay in the public service and once more giving a clear signal that consultants who are tasked with leading the delivery of healthcare services are not valued.   


The IMO is to seek an urgent meeting with Minister McGrath and Minister Donnelly to discuss this issue.


Speaking today Dr. Clive Kilgallen, Chairman of the Consultant Committee of the IMO said that a failure to honour agreements on these lines would confirm the views of many consultants that Ireland was is simply not interested in their skills and expertise, that healthcare management cannot be trusted, and that any agreement is simply not worth the paper on which it is printed. 


Dr. Kilgallen said, We are in the middle of the worst consultant workforce crisis in the history of the State, dangerous numbers of patients waiting for treatment and over 700 vacant consultant post, yet the Government continue to target the very people we need to deliver expert care to patients.”


Dr Killgallen said these latest reports signify successive Government’s approach to recruiting and retaining much needed consultants:

  • In 2012 consultants starting their career in our public health services were subjected to a unique and additional 30% pay cut which has been a disastrous policy for our health service and has yet to be addressed
  • Government breached the 2008 Contract and refused to pay agreed terms which resulted in a High Court settlement where the State had to finally honour that agreement
  • In the past number of years we have seriously failed to recruit sufficient numbers of consultants to deliver a timely health service to patients and we now have dangerous levels of waiting times
  • Government are currently considering a recommendation that consultants should not receive the restoration of hours imposed under the terms of Building Momentum


“The latest reports just reinforce the impression that Government’s intention is to bully and manipulate those who are required to lead in healthcare delivery rather than empower them to lead as in more successful healthcare systems.  consultants and a complete lack of awareness that these are the very specialists being actively recruited by other health systems that value their expertise and commitment to patients.  The message to consultants and to those doctors currently in Specialist Training is certainly not one that will encourage anyone to have a career in our health services and the people who will suffer are the patients who desperately need a consultant delivered service.”

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