Statement by Irish Medical Organisation (IMO) - Tuesday 23rd July 2013
“Allowing GPs the right to be represented by their Trade Union in their negotiations with Government is a matter of fairness and logic….we will vigorously defend our position at a full hearing.”
Tuesday 23rd July 2013. The Irish Medical Organisation restates its determination to exercise its right to fully represent its GP members in negotiations with the Government on services covered by the medical card and other services for public patients.
Following a challenge by the Competition Authority to recent steps taken by the IMO in this regard, this issue is now set for a full hearing in the High Court in the coming months.
Two weeks ago the Competition Authority demanded that the IMO cease certain actions which its GP Committee had announced in light of diminishing resources for General Practice. The IMO resisted that demand and the Competition Authority subsequently commenced proceedings and sought an injunction against the IMO.
In order to expedite a full hearing on this issue, the IMO today agreed a timetable for the full hearing and gave an undertaking to the High Court in which it agreed…….pending the determination of the proceedings by the High Court to (1) suspend the decision of the GP Committee of the 8th of July , (2) remove from the IMO website the Press Release (10th July) announcing that decision and (3) inform its members of this undertaking within two days.
Undertaking offered to allow ensure full hearing takes place as early as possible
A spokesman for the IMO confirmed that the organisation had offered the undertaking in order to expedite the substantial hearing on this issue in the coming months; “Today’s development simply clears the path to a full review of the legal situation pertaining to our right – as a Trade Union - to represent GP members in their discussions with Government in respect of their public work and we are concentrating on defending our position on this matter vigorously and successfully.”
“It is noteworthy that the current Minister for Health, Dr. James Reilly, was part of an IMO team which previously negotiated with the Department of Health on behalf of GPs in the manner the IMO now wishes to defend.”
“In addition, in 2008 the Government made a commitment to allow the IMO the right to negotiate in this manner. And the first Croke Park Agreement made a specific commitment to facilitate the right of the IMO to fully represent GPs in respect of contract negotiations with the HSE/Department of Health. The Government has not yet honoured that commitment.”
“Allowing GPs the right to be fully represented by a Trade Union in their negotiations with the HSE in respect of their public work is a matter of fairness and logic. The Government has ambitious plans for the Health Services and GPs are central to the success of those plans. It beggars belief that the Government should be allowed, or even want to, force individual GPs to co-operate with those plans without any right to full representation.”
“GPs have traditionally enjoyed this right in previous contract negotiations. It will serve all stakeholders well – particularly patients - if that right is maintained in the future.”