Irish Medical Organisation

Negotiations on Consultant Contract

You will be aware from previous correspondence that the Department of Health sought to bypass the negotiating process for the introduction of a new Consultant Contract and engage only in an “information and feedback” process. 

The IMO, as a registered Trade Union, rejected this and following extensive engagement over recent months we have now secured substantive negotiations with an independent chair in line with the practice of previous negotiations.

The negotiations will commence in September and given the overwhelmingly negative response from both Consultants and NCHDs to the Government’s proposals we expect these negotiations to be particularly challenging. 

The process will be chaired by Ms Marguerite Bolger SC and you can see the Terms of Reference here


We have ensured that in addition to the terms and conditions of any new contract there will also be discussions on:

  • The impact of any new arrangements on services and Consultants.
  • Transitional arrangements for those Consultants who MAY wish to transfer to any agreed new contract and
  • Crucially, there will be discussions on unilateral and inequitable pay cut of 30% applied to Consultants appointed post October 2012

Key objectives for the IMO in this process are:

  1. Improvement in services for patients and a much-improved working environment for Consultants which enables them to deliver care.
  2. Contractual terms that are capable of dealing with the crisis of recruitment and retention of Consultants.
  3. To find an equitable solution to the inequitable pay policy within the Consultant body   


It is important to note that the position of the IMO is that current contract holders continue to avail of all rights under their contracts notwithstanding these negotiations and in particular those who have been offered posts following interview should receive the contract offered within that process.

Our negotiating team will comprise of members of the Consultant Committee representing the views of a wide range of specialties and different contact types including those negatively impacted by the politically motivated pay cut in 2012. Importantly we also have an SpR representative from our NCHD Committee to ensure that all those who aspire to being Consultants in Ireland are represented.

The importance of these negotiations cannot be overstated and the IMO as the body representing both Consultants and NCHDs will ensure your voice is heard.  The challenges faced by Consultants and NCHDs on a daily basis as they endeavour to provide the highest standard of patient care risk becoming insurmountable. Government must recognise the seriousness of the situation and grasp this opportunity in a spirit of realism and respect, in order to stem the tide of emigration of our doctors to health services in other countries who value them, respect their skills, and actively support them in delivering high quality patient care.   

We thank you for your continued support of the IMO.


Yours sincerely,

Dr Clive Kilgallen

Chair of IMO Consultant Committee

IMO Vice President

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