Critical mid-summer rotation may see 200 or more NCHD posts with no applicants
Monday 16th June 2014. The Irish Medical Organisation (IMO) has warned that 200 or more NCHD posts may be left unfilled in Irish hospitals in the coming weeks as current contracts expire and more and more Irish trained doctors go to work abroad. Irish hospitals are currently understaffed at both consultant and NCHD levels and the situation is set to worsen.
Eric Young, Assistant Director of Industrial Relations at the IMO said that Irish hospitals were facing a staffing crisis; “Most NCHD contracts run from July and there are strong signs that as more and more NCHDs leave the Irish health services, we will be left with hundreds of unfilled NCHD posts. That means chaos in the affected hospitals and, unfortunately, delays and hardship for patients.”
Mr. Young criticised delays by the HSE in speeding up implementation of the European Working Time Directive (EWTD); “its almost 10 months since the NCHDs went on strike to force the Government to take this matter seriously and there are still unacceptable delays in making sure that all hospitals are EWTD compliant. The paralysis by inaction of health service management to address the issues besetting our health serviced are driving doctors abroad and depleting a health service already under pressure. This is a safety issue first and foremost but its also now a manpower issue as the failure to implement the directive has encouraged a huge number of NCHDs to leave the Irish health services and go to somewhere where their talents and skills are property recognised and resourced.”