Irish Medical Organisation

IMO welcomes EU Commission decision to refer Ireland to Courts over dangerously long working hours for NCHDs in Irish hospitals.

Move follows complaint to EU by Irish Medical Organisation

Wednesday 20th November 2013. The Irish Medical Organisation (IMO) has welcomed the decision by the EU Commission to refer Ireland to Court for not respecting EU rules on limits to working time for doctors in Irish public hospitals. The EU decision follows from a complaint to the EU on this issue by the Irish Medical Organisation [IMO] in 2012. The IMO met with the EU on 12 September 2013 in relation to the complaint.

Speaking today, Mr. Steve Tweed, Director of Industrial Relations at the IMO said; “While it’s shameful that failure of the HSE and Department of Health on this issue has led to this, we welcome the decision of the EU as we believe it will fundamentally alter the attitude of the HSE on the matter. The HSE has always tried to sweep this issue under the carpet but will now be forced to answer on it by the Court.”

Speaking of the recent agreement reached between the IMO and the HSE on this matter, Mr. Tweed said; “While we have recently agreed a roadmap with the HSE on the ending of the archaic practice of overworking NCHD we retain a degree of scepticism about the willingness of the HSE to enforce every aspect of that agreement. Therefore this EU move will help keep the pressure on the authorities to meet their obligations.”

The IMO made its complaint to the EU Commission on this matter a year ago and this Summer launched a nationwide campaign [#24nomore] to seek an end to excessive working times. The campaign culminated in a nationwide day of action in October in which 3,000 NCHDs withdrew their services in protest at long working hours.

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